Project title

Land and Sea Integrated Monitoring for Environment and Security


LIMES goal is to define and develop prototype information services to support security management at EU and global level in the following areas of interest:

  • Organization and distribution of humanitarian aid & reconstruction.
  • Surveillance of the EU borders (land and sea).
  • Surveillance and protection of maritime transport for sensitive cargo.
  • Protection against emerging security threats (e.g. terrorism, illegal trafficking, and proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction).

The services developed by LIMES will support the building up of a common cooperation framework between the major EU research and operational actors on security management.
LIMES service development, focused on the use of Earth Observation technology and on its integration with satellite telecommunication and navigation capacity, is based on a two-fold approach:
1. A bottom-up approach, for needs analysis, development and validation of the technology and integration of the services in the operational decision making chains of the users
2. A top-down approach, in order to take into account EU common needs


Services will be clustered in three groups:

  • Maritime Surveillance: monitoring of both vessel and cargo movements for reasons of maritime safety, policing and border security both over coastal and open ocean areas. The services include Open, Coastal Water and Sensitive Cargo surveillance. The services are based on satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar and include the integration of other monitoring systems, such as VMS, AIS, vessels and aircraft, and will be developed and tested in the Mediterranean, North Sea, Atlantic and over areas outside EU. The main users are Coast Guards, Customs, Police Departments and EU Agencies.
  • Land and Infrastructure Surveillance: includes Land Border Monitoring, Critical Infrastructure Surveillance, support to Event Planning and to Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) monitoring. The services are based on the capacity of Very High Resolution satellites, used in conjunction with medium to high resolution data and aerial imagery, to enable critical 4D spatial analysis of updated reference data with the aim to assess risks, improve security and enhance preparedness. Test areas are Eastern EU land borders, Spain and UK for Infrastructure Surveillance, a G8 Summit for Event Planning and a NPT Monitoring Area. Among the main users are Land Border Police, Civil protection, EU (e.g. FRONTEX) and International Agencies.
  • Humanitarian Relief and Reconstruction: includes the improvement and extension of the existing services that cover the whole crisis cycle. For Disaster Preparedness and Support of Reconstruction after a crisis, the information services will support population distribution and resource (food, water, infrastructure, etc) monitoring, as well as the contribution to an information system to support planning. For Operational Support of Humanitarian Relief, the fast provision of updated geospatial information and set up and validation of emergency satellite communication and navigation mobile systems are foreseen. Test areas are Yemen and Nigeria and Tsunami affected areas in Indonesia for Preparedness and Reconstruction support. For Operational Support of Humanitarian Relief, the geographical areas will be selected during the first phase of the project based presence/absence of crisis situations. Among the main users are EU and International Agencies, Civil protection, NGOs.
  • Telespazio S.p.A., ITALY
  • Joint Research Center, EU
  • Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V., GERMANY
  • Thales Alenia Space Italy, ITALY
  • Thales Alenia Space France, FRANCE
  • QinetiQ Ltd, UK
  • Astrium SAS, FRANCE
  • Istituto Affari Internazionali, ITALY
  • Kongsberg Satellite Service AS, NORWAY
  • THALES Communication SA, FRANCE
  • D'Appolonia, ITALY
  • Definiens, GERMANY
  • Infoterra Ltd, UK
  • Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, NORWAY
  • Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H, AUSTRIA
  • Italian Coast Guard, ITALY
  • Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg ZGIS , AUSTRIA
  • Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg I , FRANCE
  • Space Research Centre, POLAND
  • Société Wallonne de Photogrammétrie, BELGIUM
  • United Nations Office for Project Services, INT
  • National Observatory of Athens, GREECE
  • Italian Civil Protection - DPC, ITALY
  • Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, ITALY
  • Space Engineering, ITALY
  • Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, FRANCE
  • 4C Technologies, BELGIUM
  • Università degli Studi di Pisa - Dpt. Ingegneria Informazione, ITALY
  • Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment - CNR, ITALY
  • University of Rome "La Sapienza", ITALY
  • European Union Satellite Centre, EU
  • Università degli Studi di Trento, ITALY
  • Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, SPAIN
  • Hellenic Coast Guard, GREECE
  • Centre for Research & Technology - Hellenic Institute of Transport, GREECE
  • Spot Image S.A., FRANCE
  • Coastal and Marine Resource Centre, University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork , IRELAND
  • Ingenieria y Servicios Aeroespaciales S.A, SPAIN
  • ATOS Origin Sociedad Anonima Espanola, SPAIN
  • Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, GERMANY
  • Flyby Srl, ITALY
  • Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement, FRANCE
  • Italian Ministry of the Interior, ITALY
  • Italian Red Cross, ITALY
  • Planetek Italia, ITALY

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