The JRC MELISSA portable radar imaging system can work day and night under any weather conditions.© EU, 2012
JRC innovative radar system helps to monitor movements of grounded Costa Concordia ship
An advanced radar system, developed by the JRC, is being used at the Giglio Island in Italy to support the Italian authorities in monitoring the movements of the cruise ship that grounded off Tuscany on 13th January. Data on the ship movements have been of fundamental importance during the search and rescue operations and will remain crucial when the fuel is pumped off the ship's tanks.
The JRC system, called MELISSA, is an innovative and low-cost radar imaging system that allows for the detection of movements of objects with very high accuracy and resolution. The system is compact, portable and easily deployable and can work day and night under any weather conditions.
Following contacts with the Italian Coast Guard, MELISSA was installed and operational from 18th January. MELISSA is now fully integrated in the joint monitoring system, which includes a set of six independent monitoring systems under the coordination of the University of Florence. During the search and rescue operations, the JRC system contributed enormously to increase the reliability of the monitoring of the ship movements.
MELISSA originates from JRC work on landslide monitoring and can take measurements up to 140 times a second to detect movements with high accuracy. The installation on the Giglio Island takes a picture twice a second and measures more than 100 points of the ship. The MELISSA prototype was developed under the 2010-11 JRC Innovation Projects scheme.
The contribution of the JRC tool to the monitoring of the stability of the ship is highly valued and the head of Civil Protection Department of the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers has asked to keep the system in place while the operations continue.