The PORT XXI - Space Enabled Sustainable Port Service project aims to develop and implement monitoring and environmental management solutions, in order to improve the management of complex activities and achieve zero pollution in the ports of Azores.
“This project comprehends two dimensions: the environmental aspect and the element related to port activities, thus providing several advantages" explained Aníbal Matos, a researcher at INESC TEC, which leads this initiative. The study will resort to several sources of information, like Earth observation via satellite, and meteorological, oceanographic and CCTV data, while extracting knowledge from said data, through Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. It will rely on automated robotic solutions and resort to communication and satellite navigation infrastructures - under normal operating conditions, as well as during extreme weather events, thus assessing the impact of climate change. In environmental terms, this project addresses several issues related to water (oil and plastic spills) and air (COx, SOx, NOx, PM10, PM2.5) quality.
INESC TEC is the project leader and is in charge of port management systems, Artificial Intelligence and autonomous marine robotics. The project also includes IN+, in charge of the economic impact analysis; the Air Center, which will study the use of solutions based on Earth observation technology, for monitoring pollution in ports; the Portos dos Açores, as end users, and MONIPORT and David Mendes/AMBERJACK SOLUTIONS, the providers of environmental monitoring and management services.
In addition, other relevant port authorities and entities were invited to participate in the User and Stakeholder Group (USG), with many already showing significant interest: the port of Huelva, ENAPOR – Ports of Cape Verde, and the ports of Aveiro, Lisbon, Setúbal and Sesimbra; the Portuguese Ports Association (APP); governmental entities (the Azores Government, FRCT - Regional Foundation for Science and Technology and SEMA - Bahia State Environment Secretariat); business entities (Maritime Cluster of the Canarias and EMERGE), as well as training entities (UTA - Technical University of Atlantic - Cape Verde).
ESA co- funds the project through Business Applications, part of ESA Space Solutions, allocating €200K to the PORT XXI.