The Project

WP1 – Management and coordination

Project management and administration activities are implemented through the following decision-making structure:

The Project Manager (PM-UNIPA) is supported by a project secretariat and a Maltese Focal Point (FP-UM) tasked with optimizing direct interaction with the Maltese partners. The tasks of PM-UNIPA are:

  • supervision of the project to guarantee the administrative, financial and technical aims are met and direct contact with the Managing Authority (MA);
  • management of the activities, on the basis of the decisions of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and the directions of the Technical-operational Committee of the Project;
  • management of any project changes in compliance with the rules of the program with the support of the Financial Manager;
  • preparation of the project reports with the support of the Technical Coordinators of the WPs.

A Technical Coordinator (CT) is appointed within each partner and has the task of:

  • coordinating the activities entrusted to the individual partner;
  • participating in the Technical-Operational Committee of the project in order to harmonize the implementation of the assigned WPs.

The Financial manager (UNIPA) monitors the progress of expenditure at the project level in relation to the time schedule and ensures compliance with the approved budget and program guidelines. Specifically,

  • it monitors costs in order to detect any deviations from the financial plan;
  • supervises reporting and prepares refund applications;
  • check the correctness of any budget changes.

The Project Steering Committee (PSC), chaired by the PM, is composed of the representatives of the partners and the financial manager and has the task of:

  • developing the implementation strategies, assessing the risk and defining the procedures for effective and efficient management;
  • optimizing cooperation between partners, promoting the sharing of responsibilities through unanimous decisions and implementing the decision-making process based on the maximization of consensus.

The Technical-Operational Committee of the Project (ToC), chaired by the PM-UNIPA, co-chaired by FP-UM, is composed of the Technical Coordinators of the WPs. It is tasked with:

  • the harmonization of the technical and operational implementation of the activities and the achievement of the related deliverables;
  • monitoring the physical progress of individual WPs.

WP2 – Communication

The project uses the appropriate communication tools, choosing timeframes and media to deliver a coordinated image. The tools used include:

  • The latest generation Web Portal to ensure interoperability between devices and software, with dynamic content management. A level organization allows, in addition to a public area, the creation of reserved areas to facilitate the project partners, with differentiated access and contents for the different target groups.
  • Promotional material:  including gadgets with i-WaveNET logo, illustrative flyers, totems, banners and multimedia productions.
  • Illustrative material: like brochures on project results and specific use of the DSS.
  • Articles in scientific journals and proceedings.

WP3 – Implementation of observation networks

In WP3, existing observing networks in the Sicilian Channel are being enhanced, while new systems are being installed.

The system that is being enhanced consists of a coastal HF radar using beamforming technology (WERA), which was installed as a result of the scientific collaboration existing between UNIPA, CNR and the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) at Torretta Granitola (TP) near the seat of CNR – IAS – Unità Operativa di Capo Granitola. This system has been providing wave height data over a domain of more than 2000 km2, off the coast of Sicily, with a spatial resolution of 1.5km and temporal resolution of 5 minutes, since April 2018.

Microtremors, which are continuous and ubiquitous signal originating from the transfer of median energy from the ocean mass to the solid terrain, are used to monitor movement of the waves. Such signals are already used to monitor of the state of the sea in Liguria:

During the i-waveNET project, an integrated monitoring system is being set up to monitor wave motion in real time using microseism, specifically in the coastal area monitored by HF radar and wave buoys. This system is implemented, using the data from the broadband seismic stations within existing networks managed by INGV and UM, used for seismic and volcanic monitoring in Sicily and Malta, and data acquired from seismometers installed as a result of WP3 in areas close to HF radar sites.

The new systems being installed are:

  1. an HF radar system using direction finding technology (CODAR);
  2. a new directional wave buoy moored off the coast off Marina di Ragusa at a point close to the CALYPSO domain;
  3. a new buoy installed off the coast near Mazara del Vallo;
  4. an operational directional wave buoy on the Maltese side and a station, measuring in delayed mode, closer to shore;
  5. a CTD and meteo / marine station in Sicily;
  6. broadband seismometers installed at the HF radar sites.

WP4 – Integration and standardisation of observation data

WP4 aims to integrate observed data that are different from each other, coming from existing instruments in the Strait of Sicily and to be used during this project. This allows the generation of a homogeneous output from an integrated network for observing the physical state of the sea, based on fixed systems (wave buoys, ACDP), remote sensing measurements (HF radar, microseism, altimeters and SAR) and their integration in the modeling component, for monitoring and forecasting the state of the sea (WAM, WAVEWATCH III, SWAN).

In the stretch of sea between Sicily and Malta, some project partners have already installed and are maintaining operational systems for measuring sea waves (and also currents).

The HF CALYPSO observational network, operating in the Sicilian channel, provides data of surface sea currents (spatial scale 3 km, hourly data) and wave data (significant height, period and direction at the semi-hourly scale) on a potential number of 40 points survey in the stretch of sea between Sicily and Malta.

Off the coast of Mazara del Vallo, on the other hand, a WERA HF system is operating which since April 2018 has been providing distributed wave height data with a temporal frequency of 5 min and at the spatial scale of 1.5 km over a domain of more than 5000. km2.

Thanks to the activities of WP3, this observational network is being enhanced by the installation of an HF CODAR system for the creation of a mixed CODAR-WERA network and the installation of a wave buoy and seismometers. In this way, a new observational network is being implemented consisting of instruments heterogeneous by type.

This multi-instrumental system integrates and completes the existing observational systems to create a spatially and temporally complete one. This new system provides operational support to local administrations in a more efficient way, guaranteeing stakeholders useful data to support decisions relating to risk mitigation measures from extreme events linked to climate change.

The integration allows to pass from the monitoring philosophy (simple acquisition of repeated measurements over time) to the system one, understood as the capacity of integrated analysis of the measurements, in the light of a multidisciplinary approach.

For this reason, the measurements coming from the different instruments in the field are standardised, defining a common metric, which can make them comparable and interoperable.

WP5 – Implementation of a decision support system

This WP aims to combine the results obtained in the implementation of WP3 and WP4, by providing products and services for various stakeholders and for the public. Apart from the necessary technical work, this activity includes interacting with end users to identify problems (national and cross-border) that need the support provided by the outcomes of this project. This WP capitalizes on the results of previous projects, through the transfer of knowledge and infrastructures used for monitoring the marine environment both in Sicily and in the Maltese archipelago, in order to integrate and improve observations of the sea and coastal areas.

The Decision Support System (DSS) constitutes a platform where data and products are integrated to provide services to dedicated users. The objectives for the implementation of the DSS include:

  1. the use of data in the operational chain following international standards;
  2. an internet interface that allows, through the DSS, to publish the results, for quick use by the beneficiaries.

In addition, the data from the DSS provides information that serves as a basis for the decision support of Bodies responsible for operational routines and decision making related to the analysis of risks from the sea.

New services developed and integrated into the DSS include:

  1. zoning of the state of the sea and related climatological conditions in order to support safe navigation and provide a tool that can help control and regulate operations relating to maritime traffic;
  2. implementation of very high definition weather, hydrodynamic and wave motion models that contribute to the resolution of problems in coastal areas such as sediment transport and their repositioning, as well as hydrogeological and erosive problems (changes in the coastline).

The latter are key elements to consider in assessing potential effects on the marine-coastal environment, especially in view of the well-known Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In particular, TM is inserting in the DSS the data relating to both current and planned navigation routes, suggesting the appropriate dimensions of the marine climate zoning areas, both on the basis of present and future needs. In addition, TM is providing valuable historical information on the sea-weather climate and related local criticalities.