Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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University of Girona, Cobham and ISEP/INESC TEC wins euRathlon 2015 The event, funded by the EU FP7 and organised locally by CMRE, attracted roboticists from all over the world and more than 1200 Italian spectators. Read the Full Story
CMRE listens to the sea to know it better The oceanographic campaign GLISTEN ‘15, on going off Elba Island (Italy), is testing new sensors and solutions for ocean characterisation using underwater gliders. Read the Full Story
Enhanced collaboration with Portugal For the second year in a row CMRE conducted acoustic underwater communication tests in Portuguese waters. Read the Full Story
Robotic Search and Rescue: the new ICARUS system ready for use from 2016 CMRE played a crucial role in developing the maritime component of the ICARUS European project, including including enhanced autonomy and integration between USV and UAV. Read the Full Story
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NATO's Weekly Update


One of the three STO 2015 seminars on "Command and Reporting Standards and Associated Development Tools of UxS" will be hosted at CMRE on 9 and 10 February 2015. 
The seminar is sponsored by STO-CSO and by the "System Concepts and Integration" Panel.  
The lectures will be focused on the problem of standardization of interfaces to small unmanned vehicles. A particular focus will be placed on multi-robot network-centered operations, where a team of unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles collaborate as a coordinated, seamlessly-integrated team. That's why the seminar will be also organised within the framework of the ICARUS FP7 project

LeonardoDRYDOCKandDirectorA delegation of CMRE personnel, including CMRE Director RADM Hank Ort, visited CRV Leonardo currently in dry-dock at Italian Navy facilities, the Arsenale in La Spezia on 30 January 2015. RADM Massimo Vianello, Commander Italian Navy COMFORDRAG (Mine Countermeasures Maritime Command), was also onboard. The works are supervised by the CMRE Ship Management Office. 

CTMCAustralian VISITA delegation of twelve personnel from the Australian Defence College visited CMRE on 14 November 2014. The purpose of the visit was to better understand the role and structure of CMRE as NATO collaborative centre. The group met CMRE scientists and engineers and toured the Centre's facilities, including the Glider Command and Control Room and the glider laboratory where underwater robots are ruggedized to face the operational challenges. Australia is one of the NATO "partners across the globe" whose cooperation is constantly fostered.

Banner Notte dei Ricercatori smallThe Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge - Europe (SAUC-Europe) competition moves to autumn and was hosted again at CMRE from 20 to 26 September 2014. For the fifth time in a row, in La Spezia, SAUC-E challenged multidisciplinary University teams to design and build Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) capable of performing realistic missions. The student AUVs must perform a series of tasks autonomously in a sheltered sea harbour, with no control, guidance or communication from a person or from any off-board computer including GPS systems.
This year the SAUC-E competition is followed by the euRathlon 2014 Underwater Robotics Challenge which is part of a three-year project, funded by the European Commission, demanding teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios, inspired for example by the Fukushima accident in 2011. From 29 September to 3 October 2014 CMRE is hosting the underwater contest, last step before the Grand Challenge featuring in 2015 all three elements: land, sea and air.
SAUC-E Award Ceremony was held for the first time downtown in La Spezia, as part of the European Researchers' Night 2014.


SARSASThe 3rd International conference on Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) was held in Villa Marigola, Lerici, Italy (17-19 September 2014). This conference, organised by the Institute of Acoustics (UK) in collaboration with CMRE, drew together people from both communities to discuss the developments in both fields and to establish common areas of interest where cross-fertilization may prove beneficial. Topics of interest for the conference were automatic target recognition (ATR), interferometry, change detection, performance assessment, data fusion and 3D target reconstruction.
CMRE is a leading contributor to SAS development and demonstrated world-class ATR, autonomy and data fusion algorithms. CMRE exploits also this technology for Maritime Security applications (ship and anomaly detection).

The 2nd Underwater Communications Networking (UComms) Conference was hosted for the second time in a row by CMRE from 3 to 5 September 2014 in Sestri Levante, Italy.  
The conference was focused on working towards an adequate physics-based understanding of the propagation of communication signals underwater and the performance of necessary higher-level protocols with the objective of supporting the intelligent choice of standards, as a foundation for interoperability.
UComms aims to bring together key people in underwater communications networking to review the state-of-the-art and share understanding of performance constraints and trade-offs with a view to catalysing consensus on standards for interoperability.

The Decision Support and Risk Assessment for Asset Planning (DeSRAAP) workshop 2014 was held at CMRE from 9 to 11 July 2014. The event was conceived as a forum to discuss current problems and technologies in Risk Assessment, Environmental Impact in Civilian and Military Assets, Decision Support Systems and Asset Planning in the maritime domain. The overarching objective was to bring together military personnel and research communities (academia and industry) to understand and address shortfalls in operational planning aids to assist decision makers.

CMRE participated in the scientific committee of the first Sim & Sea Conference, held in Genoa, Italy (Sea Museum, Porto Antico) on 9 June 2014. The event was organized by the Italian Movement for Modelling and Simulation (MIMOS). Sea and serious games, modelling and simulation models for autonomous vehicles and maritime security applications were discussed.

NewcomersApr14 webCMRE welcomes seven new scientists, all enrolled in the Centre's Visiting Researcher Programme, which offers the best and brightest students, university researchers and practicing professionals from NATO Nations the opportunity to work at CMRE. The latest researchers come from Italy, USA, Turkey and the Czech Republic and are employed in various research fields, including maritime security, EKOE, remote sensing, underwater robotics and minecountermeasures studies.

The NATO Fourth Military Oceanography Panel (MILOC-4) meeting was hosted by CMRE from 13 to 15 May 2014. It is a subordinate panel to the NATO Meteorological and Oceanographic Military Committee Working Group [MCWG(METOC)] advising the Military Committee on METOC issues. Delegates from allied countries meet annually to address MILOC policy, procedures and standardization agreements between NATO and partner countries. Ongoing CMRE research and operational experience with multi-sensor survey technologies and networks, gliders applications, environmental characterization and imaging systems, and multi-static active sonar were presented as part of the meeting program.

NCIAvisit Col. Dario Nicolella, Commander of NATO Communications and Information Agency Sector Naples, visited CMRE on 13 May 2014. Col. Dario Nicolella will retire on 10 July 2014. Before his retirement, Col. Nicolella decided to greet all the subordinated sites/units deployed under Sector Naples' Area of Responsibility in Italy. CMRE hosts a NCIA detachment is its building providing CIS Support to the Centre's administration.
During the visit at CMRE in La Spezia, Commander Nicolella met Rear Admiral (Rtd.) Hank Ort, CMRE Director, and presented him with the Crest of the Agency, in gratitude for his dedication and excellent service. The Director congratulated Col. Nicolella, for the exceptional dedication and the high level of professionalism that the NCI Agency Unit has presented in recent years in La Spezia.

HandoverMSTCThe NATO Science and Technology (S&T) Organization's Maritime S&T Experts Committee (MSTC) was held at CMRE from 6 to 8 May 2014.
The Committee exists to provide scientific guidance to the S&T Board, the governing body of the S&T Organization, chaired by the NATO Chief Scientist.
As matters of strategic business, the Committee discussed the outputs of recent Science and Technology Board meetings and preparations for the next, their support for the NATO Maritime S&T Vision and Business Plan 2015-2020. At the end of the meeting, Dr Edward Franchi from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, handed the Chairmanship of the MSTC over to Dr Guus Beckers, from TNO Defence Security and Safety Observations Systems (The Netherlands).

The SUNRISE project (EC FP7) first technical review meeting was hosted by CMRE on 14-15 April 2014. SUNRISE stands for Sensing, monitoring and actuating on the Underwater world through a federated Research Infrastructure Extending the Future Internet. The project is founded on the concept of federating internet-connected networks of underwater communication testbeds, an idea pioneered by the CMRE. Project partners from the collaborating organisations met in La Spezia to present demonstrations and report on progress to an external review panel appointed by the European Commission (EC). A highlight was the live demonstration of the CMRE Littoral Ocean Observatory Network (LOON). The EC reviewers' initial feedback was that they were most impressed with the professional competence and creativity of the project partners and very satisfied with the progress made so far. Important outcomes of the project include recommendations for standards in underwater communication that will support interoperability.

CMRE took part in the workshop "Industry Meets the Young Engineers and Students: International Working Opportunities" held in Genoa , Italy, on 27 March 2014. The event, organized by the University of Genoa, aimed at finalizing concrete employment opportunities in the international environment for young people. CMRE presented its research programs at the workshop for the first time.

From 29 to 30 January 2014, CMRE hosted the 1st Meeting of the Active Sonar Risk Mitigation (ASRM) Smart Defence (SD) Project, organized by the Allied Command Transformation (ACT). The purpose of SD is to identify Nations and parts of NATO that are interested in working together on a common issue. This workshop successfully identified a number of items of common interest in the area of ASRM, these will be further developed in the near future.
CMRE has been conducting scientific research on active sonar risk mitigation for more than 13 years, as NATO's focal point for scientific expertise in this area.

TALON 13 demonstration, held at CMRE on 21-22 November 2013 (in collaboration with the Italian Navy MCM Forces Command COMFORDRAG), aimed at exploring how the latest technology may contribute to port and harbour protection; in particular the goal is to find the best way to reduce the vulnerability of assets and naval units from small boat and swimmer/diver threats, minimizing also any risk of harm to benign contacts and post-event litigation for security forces. The demonstration was part of the CMRE work on deterrence and non-lethal capabilities in maritime security within the NATO Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) programme. 


The SUNRISE project (EC FP7) was launched in Rome on 31 October 2013. SUNRISE stands for Sensing, monitoring and actuating on the UNderwater world through a federated Research Infrastructure Extending the Future Internet. CMRE is part of the Consortium of partners which work together to develop a federation of underwater testing infrastructures, as yet unavailable anywhere in the world, empowered by novel IoT (Internet of underwater Things) technologies, for marine and ocean monitoring, exploitation and control.
The SUNRISE concept stems from the experience of existing European underwater testbeds operating at the partner sites, and especially from the experience of the Littoral Ocean Observatory Network (LOON) permanent installation created in La Spezia by the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE). Five copies of the LOON throughout Europe and the USA will be built within the SUNRISE project. From 6 to 8 November 2013 the Project was presented at ICT 2013, in Vilnius (Lithuania), where the EU's Horizon 2020 programme was also launched. See the video of the booth demonstration.


The NATO Modeling and Simulation Group (NATO MSG-130) on Commercial Technologies and Games for Use in NATO (in the Maritime Domain) workshop was hosted at the Italian Navy Officer Club in La Spezia (Italy) from 9 to 11 October 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to identify innovative solutions to address the new maritime opportunities for "immersive environments". The workshop agenda included a visit at CMRE cutting-edge laboratories, including the Modeling and Simulation Lab and the Glider Control Room supervising the CMRE glider fleet during scientific trials.

Sprayglider deploymentThe first CMRE Workshop on Military Applications of Glider Technology was held at the Centre from 8 to 10 October 2013.  The workshop explored the applications of underwater glider technology to military operations, including case studies on environmental characterization of denied areas, passive detection of acoustic sources, sustained monitoring and surveillance of marine regions, multistatic acoustic detection. Professional attendees from navies, companies, universities and research centers from 11 NATO Countries took part in it.

marineria13CMRE participated in the 2013 Festa della Marineria (3-6 October 2013), local festival about sea and maritime culture in La Spezia (Italy). This edition hosted the conclusive race of the MediterraneanTall Ships Lycamobile regatta.
CMRE took care of one information booth and one laboratory of acoustics along with the Italian Navy Naval Support and Experimentation Centre (CSSN). The lab included the demonstration of an hydrophone kit for students developed by CMRE technicians in collaboration with the DOSITS of the University of Rhode Island (USA). More than 850 students participated in the activities organized by the research centers present in the local area.

The Environmental Knowledge and Operational Effectiveness (EKOE) programme at NATO STO CMRE contributed to the "NATO METOC Orientation Course" at NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) on 23-27 September 2013. The lecture provided an overview of the meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) research and technology done at CMRE, as well as instructed the students about future directions in this field. This participation at NSO demonstrates the strong relationship created between NATO STO CMRE and NSO in this field, providing a way of disseminating the progresses achieved by NATO STO CMRE to NATO and the nations.

GoughOESAward webThe CMRE Chief Scientist Ed Gough recently received an award from Rene Garello, the President of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES), for serving on the Society's Administrative Committee from 2011 to 2013. Rene presented the award during the OES luncheon, as part of the Oceans '13 conference and exhibition that was held in San Diego, California (USA) from 23 to 26 September 2013.


The 2nd International Workshop on Compressed Sensing applied to Radar (CoSeRa 2013, Bonn, Germany 17-19 September 2013) hosted the presentation of the CMRE paper "Oceanographic Data Transmission: a Compressed Sensing-based Approach" in the session "Compressive Sensing in Acoustic and Sonar / Passive Radar and other Applications". Results of the COmpRessed sensing for SAmpling and Reconstruction of Ocean fields (CORSARO) project within the NATO STO CMRE Environmental Knowledge and Operational Effectiveness (EKOE) programme have been discussed. CORSARO is an exploratory project aiming at investigating compressive sensing (CS), an emerging technique that provides a combined and efficient strategy for both the sampling and the reconstruction of signals, in the context of oceanography and underwater autonomous vehicles.

stb-fall-2013-largeThe NATO Science and Technology Board (STB) held its Fall meeting in Vilnius from 16 to 20 September 2013. A total of 180 NATO and national representatives, including CMRE managers, attended that business week along with Mr Juozas Olekas, Minister of National Defence in Lithuania.  The meeting focused on the main challenges awaiting the STO in 2014, and in particular on the definition of the future of Maritime S&T for NATO. It was also an opportunity to discuss with partner countries actions and improvements to involve them in the STO business.

CMRE participated in the 21st EUSIPCO conference (Marrakech, Morocco, 9-13 September 2013) with  the paper "Asset Network Planning: Integration of Environmental Data and Sensor Performance for Counter Piracy".  It contributed to the special session on "Multi-Sensor and Multi-Target Tracking" organized by the University of Connecticut and the Centre's Environmental Knowledge and Operational Effectiveness (EKOE) programme.  
The paper presented an algorithm for the optimal deployment of surveillance moving asset networks to support sea counter piracy operations. The work is the result of the collaboration between the EKOE and the Maritime Security (MS) programs at NATO STO CMRE, and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The algorithm is part of a future development effort to provide automatic planning capabilities to involved NATO commands into decision support systems based on interoperable Web enabled GIS services.


SAUCECMRE hosted the Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge - Europe competition for the fourth time in a row. The dates were June 28 – July 05, 2013. SAUC-E '13 was the first edition to let students teams fully including second autonomous underwater or surface robots as collaborators to accomplish the challenge mission tasks.

Eight papers were presented by CMRE Scientists at the 1st International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustic (UAC), held in Corfu (Greece) from 23 to 28 June 2013.
Innovative technologies for acoustical oceanography observations and autonomous underwater persistent surveillance, solutions for investigation of environmental uncertainties, unique low-frequency mine hunting and seabed characterization sonar, were some of the topics focused during the panels.
The UAC event merged the 5th international conference and exhibition on Underwater Acoustic Measurements: Technologies and Results with the 12th European Conference on Underwater Acoustics.

Dirk Tielbuerger, CMRE Director, was invited to give a keynote talk at the event UDT (Undersea Defence Technology) Europe, held in Hamburg (Germany) from 18 to 20 June 2013. On 19 June, CMRE Director presented the Centre's view on "What does the future hold for the world's most inhospitable environment?" in a plenary session together with John-Mikal Stordal (Director of Norwegian FFI), Michel Accary (Senior Vice President Technology, DCNS Group) and Kevin Peppe (Vice President Seapower Systems, Raytheon).  This panel, chaired by Capt. Raimund Wallner (German Navy), focused on new technology, contested areas, emerging challenges, opportunities and their implications for the security of the underwater domain.

CMRE hosted the 2nd Workshop on Sensing the Ocean with Marine Radar (SOMaR-2) from 5 to 7 June 2013 in Lerici (Italy). In 2011, the first workshop on Sensing the Ocean with Marine Radar (SOMaR-1) concentrated on the scientific aspects of marine radar ocean applications and provided a forum for researchers to present and discuss their results, exchange data and algorithms, and identify priorities for future research. SOMaR-2 continued this series of interactive workshops on the state-of-the-art in marine radar development, focusing on possible consensus regarding approaches, issues, and validation.

bigdata"Big data from Space" was an event organized by the European Space Agency in Frascati (Italy) to address the barriers that limit the use of the large volumes of Earth observation data. From 5 to 7 June international experts discussed contemporary and historical Earth observations, either space-based or from the ground (including ubiquitous information-sensing mobile devices, aerial sensory technologies, wireless sensor networks). CMRE was invited to speak about experiences and lessons learned related to Big Data Challenges in the Maritime Domain. Maritime Security Programme Manager Karna Bryan gave the talk.

MASTEurope 2013, in Gdansk (Poland) from 4 to 6 June 2013, hosted two CMRE presentations on the Centre's capabilities. In particular, the scientist Kevin LePage and the engineer Robert Been spoke about autonomous offboard multistatic active antisubmarine warfare (ASW) network research, experimentation, and demonstration, which is a very promising scientific direction. The CMRE Chief Scientist Ed Gough also gave a presentation.

ROVfilippoCMRE participated in the exposition "Ricerca & Innovazione Tecnologic@" at Capitaneria di Porto (Molo Italia), in La Spezia (Italy), organized by the Naval Support and Experimentation Centre (CSSN) of the Italian Navy. The initiative was part of the 26th Mariperman Trophy calendar of events. In the exhibit, CMRE past and current ROV capabilities were displayed (including the robot Filippo here shown in an historical photo) to the general public. In addition, a CMRE team competed on 7 and 8 June in the second edition of the CSSN Sailing Trophy open to scientific research centres onboard J24.

CMRE was invited to participate in the "Ocean Challenges and Opportunities" conference held in Porto (Portugal) from 13 to 17 May 2013. João Alves, CMRE Senior Scientist of the Cooperative Anti-Submarine Warfare program and Project Leader of MORPH (Marine robotic system of self-organizing, logically linked physical nodes) spoke about standards and interoperability in the maritime research field. The conference aimed to bring together world-class specialists to discuss technological and organizational challenges for global ocean sustainability and stewardship, including harnessing trends in the interoperability and standardization of networked robotic sensor and communication systems.

Gough ItalianOES31012013Ed Gough, CMRE Chief Scientist, gave a keynote talk at the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) Italian Chapter inaugural meeting, held at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Genoa on 30 January 2013.
Dr Gough took the opportunity to outline the changes and structure of the new CMRE to OES members and students, inviting them to professionally engage with the Centre.

CMRE was invited to brief the NATO SENT about the NavTronic European project on 22 January 2013. SENT is the Smart Energy Team created by NATO to report on activities related to smart energy and stimulate shared expertise and collaboration in research and development. The meeting focused on NavTronic approach to energy-saving for the shipping industry. On the same topic read also the article "Armies get smart on energy".

ARGOMARINElogoThe ARGOMARINE EU Project demo and final conference entitled "New Strategies and Technologies for the Safety of Navigation in the Mediterranean Sea" was held in Elba Island, 19-21 November 2012.  As part of the 'Automatic Oil spill Recognition and Geopositioning integrated in a Marine Monitoring Network' Consortium, the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) participated featuring its "Area Access Surveillance Technologies" developed in the Project time frame (2009-2012). See the final video of the Project.

Festival Scienza 1CMRE participated for the first time in the Science Festival 2012. Three scientists presented cutting-edge research and technology in underwater communication, ocean exploration and counter-piracy.
The event was held in Genoa (Italy), at Palazzo Ducale-Sala del Maggior Consiglio and Sala del Minor Consiglio from 31 October to 2 November 2012.
Download the press release for the complete programme.

CMRE participated in the 4th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-Games2012), which was held in Genoa, 29-31 October 2012. Two works were presented: "Survey on Serious Games applied to security, safety and crisis management. User requirements, present solutions and envisaged possible improvements" by Alessandra Tesei, Alessandra Barbieri and Ron Kessel; and "Accuracy Requirements for Physical Models in Serious Games" by Alessandra Tesei and Ron Kessel.

logo PA conf lowAnnual NATO Public Affairs Conference was held at CMRE from 24 to 27 September 2012. The agenda included Chicago Summit outcomes with broad introduction to the new NATO Command Structure with its impact on PA, looking upon NATO PA resources, its development and deployability, and discussing social media. The event was hosted by Allied Command Operation's Public Affairs Office and co-sponsored by both Allied Command Transformation's Public Affairs Office and Science and Technology Organization.

UCommsNet LogoUnderwater Communications: Channel Modelling & Validation conference, organised by CMRE, aims to bring together the key researchers in the UW communications field to present the state-of-the-art in UW communications technologies and to set the stage for agreeing on some benchmark problems and models that can be used to equitably evaluate different coding schemes and protocols. It was held on 12-14 September 2012 with a smaller workshop (by invitation) following on 17-18 September with the goal of producing a white paper with recommendations in these areas. For more: www.ucomms.net .

The MORPH meta-vehicle concept web

The MORPH (Marine Robotic System of Self-Organizing, Logically Linked Physical Nodes) project first plenary meeting was hosted by CMRE on 10 and 11 July 2012. Funded by the 7th Framework Programme European Commission, it was linked to SAUC-E 2012 edition providing a series of lectures that would reflect the state of the art and the vision of it. There will be planned, then, future actions and first project trials to take place in the Azores.

SAUCE12logoSAUC-Europe (Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge – Europe) washosted for the third time by the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) from 6 to 13 July 2012. For one week, 15 teams of students, coming from 12 Universities, competed and tested their autonomous underwater vehicles at the CMRE waterfront in La Spezia (Italy). For more visit: www.sauc-europe.org .

Harbour Protection Table-Top Exercise (HTP2E) was held at the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) from 20 to 23 March 2012. It consisted of dynamic engagements played in the NURC OpenSea Maritime Tactical Theatre Simulator. The aim was to illustrate the capabilities envisioned from integrated surveillance and response using emerging technologies.

The LIDAR Observations of Optical and Physical Properties (LOOPP) Workshop was held at NURC in La Spezia, Italy, from 15 to 17 November 2011. This conference gathered experts on Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems to review past and current status of using this technology to retrieve water column optical properties, suggest improvements and generate a road-map of future LIDAR research. Click here for more details.

NURC participated in the 2011 North American Technology Demonstration (NATD) held in Ottawa, Canada, from 25 to 27 October 2011. The three-day event was sponsored by NATO's Emerging Security Challenges Divison, through their Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work on Non-Lethal Capabilities. It was jointly hosted by the Canadian Department of National Defence and the US Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD). NATD was the largest non-lethal technology event ever, with 970 registrants from 30 nations.

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