It started out as the Demonstration Project in response to the ARTES 20 IAP and APDUSS programmes, promoted by ESA - the European Space Agency, to aid the widest diffusion of use of its own satellite assets.
The main aim of SIMONA is to provide an information platform for the completion and improvement of existing services in Maritime Situation Awareness, improving the skills that the Italian Coast Guard and the Italian Navy currently have, as well as providing added value services based on satellite assets in support of private subjects, such as merchant naval transport companies and insurance brokerage, insurance and assistance companies.
The project was started up in September 2014. In July 2015, the first phase was completed, which concerned: analysing the state of the art of technologies regarding the definition of system requisites, carried out on the basis of a needs analysis of the final users, the design of the platform’s general architecture and of the services offered. A market analysis was carried out in parallel and the business goals were defined to verify the project’s sustainability, in terms of future diffusion of the SIMONA platform.
In designing the architecture and services, Engineering has provided its own experience in verifying and validating integrated solutions such as the System of Systems, and its consolidated experience in maritime areas (SMART and MCCIS-Italia, Italian Navy maritime surveillance and command and control systems respectively, STIRES, a fundamental part of the SSN system, CERS, for the United Kingdom Coast Guard, SIA the Home Office anti-immigration system).
The second phase of SIMONA, started up in January 2016, aims to realise the system, following the entire life cycle process of the software that foresees planning, implementation, testing of each component and integration and validation by the platform. A practice campaign carried out over several months, will prove the operational validity of the services. Parallel to implementing the platform, the consortium will produce a dynamic modelling system to prove continuity in development of connected business, and in support of the SIMONA platform market launch.
The technological solution of the platform foresees integration of three Satellite assets (EO, GNSS and SATCOM) and use of a set of information and/or operational services provided by institutional and private providers.
The main functions of the SIMONA platform can be summarised in:
- Contributing to the generation of an enriched Common Operating Picture (eCOP) by integrating data coming from various sources of information (EO images, data on weather and oceanographic conditions, Local Pictures supplied by collaborative users) and in adherence with the main reference standards (GRIB, VMS, etc.)
- Supporting maritime surveillance, S&R and safe navigation operations, by providing services that integrate the satellite assets, and such as to guarantee safety, integrity, precision and reliability characteristics.
- Providing services designed to operational specifications, defined jointly with users and checking their validity during the demonstration phase planned at the end of Phase 2.
The SIMONA ICT Platform will work on existing services, orchestrating them together with ad-hoc developments based on SW System Engineering paradigms, such as MDA (Model Driven Architecture) and SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and aimed at the provision of reliable and safe services for both civil and military use.
The users involved in defining the services and in platform experiments and validation are: Italian Coast Guard, Italian Navy, d’Amico Società di Navigazione and Sapri Broker Srl with the support of AXA Assistance.
On completion of the project the SIMONA platform will evolve to a final product to be offered on the market in two subsequent phases of industrialisation and commercialisation. For this purpose, a new company (NewCo) will be created, comprising Engineering and some partners in the consortium, that will acquire the intellectual property of the components developed and will also involve new subjects for product production and distribution, via the stipulation of partnership agreements.