Project title

Dolphin (Development of Pre-operational Services for Highly Innovative Maritime Surveillance Capabilities)


The project DOPHIN explores how maritime situational awareness can be enhanced by the use of space assets that support operations carried out by civilian and military authorities such as monitoring of sea pollution, maritime traffic, and the fight against illegal trafficking of human beings and drugs.

Indeed, DOLPHIN aims at filling the identified technological gaps in current operational surveillance systems, in accordance with specific policy-driven requirements and scenarios arising from the EU.

In particular, DOLPHIN will facilitate the detection of “small and noncooperative maritime objects” by means of innovative radar satellite technologies in response to such policy needs.


The consortium partners have identified the need for optimising existing space-based observation systems to provide improved solutions to maritime surveillance user needs. This will be done through close interactions with users. The following technological gaps will be addressed:

  • more timely and reliable information;
  • the enhancement of situational awareness;
  • the increase of reaction capabilities through the provision of reliable decision support tools.

DOLPHIN intends to create innovative algorithms and software tools applicable at global scale for maritime border surveillance, traffic safety and security and fisheries control, by addressing the abovementioned technological gaps. The tools will be linked with existing operational systems to form a cohesive and integrated decision support environment, integrating satellite and non-space data sources.


Three policy areas of benefit have been identified:

  1. Border Surveillance
  2. Traffic Safety
  3. Fisheries Control

e-GEOS Spa, Italy
Kongsberg Satellite Services As, Norway
Qinetiq Limited, United Kingdom
Syseco Sprl, Belgium
Space Hellas S.A., Greece
Collecte Localisation Satellites, France
Forsvarets Forskninginstitutt, Norway
Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek – TNO, The Netherlands
Deutsches Zentrum Fuer Luft - Und Raumfahrt Ev, Germamy
Selex Sistemi Integrati Spa, Italy
Edisoft-Empresa De Serviços E Desenvolvimento De Software As, Portugal
European Union Satellite Centre, EU
Thales Alenia Space France, France
Aster, Italy
Universita Degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II, Italy
Università Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza, Italy
Instituto De Telecomunicacoes, Portugal
Oceanwaves Gmbh, Germany
Thales Alenia Space Italia Spa, Italy
Gauss Gesellschaft Fur Angewandten Umweltschutz Und Sicherheit Im Seeverkehr Mbh, Germany


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