On February 1st and 2nd, 2023 the Cypriot maritime trial was conducted in Larnaca, Cyprus, hosted and coordinated by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC), in collaboration with partners of the NESTOR consortium. The primary objective of the trial was to evaluate the capacity and suitability of the NESTOR platform and integrated technologies for facilitating search and rescue operations in a maritime environment.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) and the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) were responsible for organizing the trial. Technical supervision of the trial was conducted by partners, including OCEANSCAN, NARDA, DCD, MILTECH, SATWAYS, KEMEA, ELISTAIR, and CERTH, who closely monitored its execution to ensure smooth operation and optimal performance of the platform. In addition, partners HP, CDBP, GUCI, and SBGSLT assisted in the execution of the trial from the end users point of view.
The execution of the 3 storylines of the Cypriot trial was successful and demonstrated the capabilities and adaptability of the NESTOR platform.
The first storyline involved a boat carrying migrants capsized due to bad weather conditions, leaving the people on board in a state of distress. Thanks to the use of the advanced NESTOR technologies, including the NARDA and DCD equipment, the boat was detected and the alerts for starting a rescue operation were emitted. The rescue team utilized a camera and a drone to gather information and access and monitor the event. The BC3i platform was operated from the JTRCC Control Center for the overall coordination of the case.
During the second storyline, a boat with migrants capsizes while sailing towards the Cyprus coastline, due to prevailing harsh weather conditions. Migrants on board fall in the water while their belongings disappear in the water. The NESTOR platform was again utilized to detect the event and alert the Control and Coordination officials to mobilize resources for successfully assisting the search and rescue operation.
On the second day of the Cypriot maritime trial, the third simulated storyline was held. This simulation involved an incident at sea, where a boat carrying migrants collided with another vessel and capsized due to severe weather conditions. In this scenario, the BC3i and TRITON systems that have been integrated into the NESTOR platform were utilized to assist with the detection and alerting for starting the search and rescue operation. Moreover, the Miltech camera and legacy camera were used to detect the capsized boat and its occupants, while the AIS legacy system was also integrated and demonstrated in this storyline. The BC3i platform played a central role in this operation, as it collected, fused and processed all information from the integrated sensors and devices to develop an enhanced level of situational awareness for the storyline and support thus the coordination and execution of an effective search and rescue operation.
The Cypriot Trial had a significant impact on its end users as it demonstrated that it can be efficiently used by its intended users, which in the case of the Cypriot trial are the JRCC personnel, and the support it can provide for fast and effective decision making. Following the Lithuanian trial, it also demonstrated new technologies along with their integrability and interoperation through the NESTOR platform. Finally, the trial demonstrated that the NESTOR platform can be deployed and operated in different operational environments with various configurations to serve diverse surveillance needs.