The overall goal of the PROMERC project is to reduce the vulnerability of European Union (EU) merchant fleets and maritime supply lines to criminal abduction and extortion and thereby reduce risk to mariners, shipping, and the environment, while also reducing costs and remaining cognisant of legal and social constraints. This will be delivered through the provision of the following tangible project results:
- Independent review and recommendations about non-lethal technologies for pirate avoidance and opposing the boarding of vessels by pirates.
- A Knowledge base and manual to aid in the selection and use of appropriate counter piracy measures in a layered holistic defence. This will provide a powerful planning tool, which will also provide a practical guide to the active and passive counter measures to counter pirate threats, their operational effectiveness, cost-benefits and their legal, economic and societal implications.
- An automated voyage planning support tool to aid shore based authorities, which will balance routeing to mitigate risk against incurring additional fuel costs due to re-routeing and increased speed. (A prototype will be available for use by end-users).
- An automated decision support tool to provide seafarers with real time threat assessment, evaluation of possible courses of action and a recommended course of action and for use by shore based authorities as a training aid. (A prototype will be available for training of capabilities and use by end-users). Recommendations on the further development of counter piracy measures.
PROMERC has the following scientific and technical objectives:
- To optimize the use of different countermeasures in concert. To develop predictive algorithms that accurately forecast the risk of attack and the probability of a successful attack on specific ships.
- To develop a routing algorithm that successfully balances the risk/costs of boarding avoidance and re-routing, thereby minimising overall cost of counter piracy actions. To quickly bring existing technology to the merchant vessels in the fight against piracy.
- To find effective and efficient ways to leverage military technology to rapidly provide high quality intelligence and surface picture information to vessels, without the need of expensive radar systems, command and control systems and highly trained officers.
- To validate the Counter-Measures knowledge base and manual against the baseline scenarios and extensively evaluated by the stakeholder group and end-users partners.
- To validate and fine-tune the cost-benefit algorithms so that they perform optimally over a large set of threat scenarios. They will then be integrated into the tools produced by PROMERC and tested in a simulation environment as part of the development process.
- To validate the Decision Support tool against the baseline scenarios and the evaluation criteria of the stakeholder group and end-users partners in a bridge trainer. Bridge trainers are used to train deck officers and provide a life-size, fully equipped and functional bridge which will be used to develop ‘real’ pirate threat scenarios. The Decision Support tool will receive data feeds from the bridge Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and will provide situation sensitive advice and guidance.
- To validate the voyage planning support tool against the baseline scenarios and against historical data prior to an extended period of use by end-users to support their daily operations.
- To document, leverage and support, ongoing and completed research from related projects and actions e.g. VESCOSUR, PMAR, NAVTRONIC, SECTRONIC, PERSEUS and OP ATALANTA.