Bonus Projects

ESABALT - Enhanced situational awareness to improve maritime safety in the Baltic

The ESABALT project is a feasibility study of an integrated system for enhancing maritime safety, which incorporates the latest technological advances in positioning, e-Navigation, Earth observation systems, and multi-channel cooperative communications. The most novel part of the ESABALT concept, however, is a focus on user-driven crowdsourcing techniques for information gathering and integration. The system will consist of a situational awareness solution for real-time maritime traffic monitoring via utilizing various positioning technologies; an observation system of the marine environment relevant to transportation and accidents including assessing the sea ice, oil spread, waves, wind etc.; and a methodology for context-aware maritime communication with cooperative, multi-channel capabilities. Three associated services will also be developed on top the integrated solution including intelligent marine navigation and routing services, efficient emergency response, and environmental monitoring and reporting with emphasis on cross-border functionality. Real-time traffic situations will be detected with satellite and terrestrial navigation sensors, while the state of the sea will be identified with images from Earth observation satellites, local vessel sensors, fixed sensor stations and deployable sensor stations. The project will define an intelligent, novel, user-driven solution and associated services for enhancing the maritime safety in the whole Baltic area.

The ESABALT consortium consists of:
Finnish Geodetic Institute, Finland (coordinating partner)
Furuno Finland Oy, Finland
Maritime University of Szczecin, Poland
SSPA Sweden AB, Sweden

ESABALT is coordinated by Professor Heidi Kuusniemi

Visit our ESABALT website to learn more about the project

esabalt concept 11112014

Workshop on Solutions for Maritime Situational Awareness

ESABALT presentation awarded in USA

The ION GNSS+ is an annual conference arranged in the United States. It is one of the largest conferences in the world in the domain of navigation, positioning and its applications in maritime, among others. This year the conference was arranged in Tampa, Florida.

ESABALT was presented under the paper titled ‘Operational Scenarios for Maritime Safety in the Baltic Sea – Project BONUS ESABALT’ in the Session ‘Aviation and Marine Applications’, on Thursday 17th September. 

The paper was successfully presented and professor Heidi Kuusniemi was awarded the Best Presentation Award in the technical session on ‘Aviation and Marine Applications’.

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ESABALT is a Flagship Project under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

Flagship status is awarded to those projects which are expected to have significant impact through international cooperation and scientific innovation for the benefit of Baltic Sea.

ESABALT presentation from the 17 June, 2015 meeting in Riga, Latvia of the EU SBSR International Steering Committee of the Priority Area ‘Maritime Safety and Security’ – online presentation here, and PDF slides can be downloaded from here.

EUSBSR flagship label transparent

Paper on the ESABALT project wins the Best Student paper award

at the 2015 European Navigation Conference


ESABALT (Enhanced situational awareness to improve maritime safety in the Baltic) project studies the feasibility of an integrated system enhancing maritime safety by improved situational awareness by incorporating the latest crowdsourcing techniques and technological advances, such as satellite remote sensing. Sentinel-1 is the first satellite constellation of the European EO program Copernicus which provides free satellite remote sensing imagery to all users. Sentinel-1 provides radar imagery which is beneficial for marine environment monitoring, because radars can measure through clouds and are not dependent on sunlight which enables nighttime imaging. One of the key tasks in ESABALT project is to study how the free Sentinel-1 data can be used to improve maritime safety within the Baltic Sea by providing value-added data, such as sea ice maps and ship and oil spill detection services. ESABALT project paper regarding this subject and titled "Feasibility of Sentinel-1 data for Enhanced Maritime Safety and Situational Awareness" was presented and awarded the Best Student Paper Award at the 2015 European Navigation Conference (ENC) in Bordeaux, France, 7-10th April.

Olli & hyperspectral lidar
ENC2015 Best Student Paper Award Winner Olli Nevalainen with Hyper Spectral Lidar