The Project

WP1 – Management and coordination

Project management and administration activities are implemented through the following decision-making structure constituted of The Project Manager (PM-UNIPA), supported by the 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 aspects and direct contact with the Managing Authority (MA);
  • management of the project activities, based on 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.

The Technical Coordinator (CT) is appointed within each partner and has the task of coordinating the activities entrusted to the individual partner and 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, the Financial Manager monitors costs in order to detect any deviations from the financial plan, supervises reporting and prepares refund applications and checks 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 is tasked with developing the implementation strategies, assessing their risk and defining the most efficient procedures. A further task is to optimise cooperation between partners, promoting the sharing of responsibilities through unanimous decisions and implementing the decision-making process based on the maximisation 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 and takes care of the the harmonisation of the technical and operational implementation of the activities, the achievement of the related deliverables and monitoring the physical progress of individual WPs.

WP2 – Communication

Communication is a task managed by the Lead Partner UNIPA through a collaboration with the entire partnership which actively participates in the dissemination of project activities.

The main means of communication of i-waveNET is the Web Portal designed specifically to guarantee interoperability between devices and software that allows dynamic management of the content.

The stratified design supports the creation of a public area, as well as a reserved area to support the project partners, with different levels of access and contents for different target groups. Furthermore, the project envisages the creation of a manual for users in order to make the site more user friendly.

WP3 – Implementation of observation networks

WP3 includes the activities related to enhancing the existing observing networks already operational in the Sicilian Channel, and installing new observing systems.

There are plans to upgrade a coastal HF radar using beamforming technology (WERA), which was installed at Torretta Granitola (TP) at the headquarters of CNR-IAS, Capo Granitola Operational Unit, thanks to a previous scientific collaboration between UNIPA, CNR and the OGS Institute (National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics). This system provides, since April 2018, significant wave height data distributed over a spatial domain of more than 2,000 km2 (1.5 km spatial resolution and 5-minute temporal resolution) off the coast of Sicily.

There are also plans to implement a real-time integrated wave motion monitoring system using seismic sensors or microseism, installed in the coastal areas covered by the HF radars and the wave buoys. To set up such a monitoring system, both data from the broadband seismic stations within existing networks managed by INGV and UM, and data acquired from seismometers installed within the ambit of WP3 in areas close to HF radar sites, will be used.

Below is a list of the new systems being installed:

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

WP4 – Integration and standardisation of observation data

The objective of WP4 is to integrate and standardise data coming from instruments in the Sicily Channel, both those which are already installed and those which will be installed within this project. This allows the generation of a homogeneous dataset coming from an integrated network for observing the physical state of the sea. This network is based on the acquisition of data from 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 systems for measuring sea waves and surface currents, and are keeping them operational.

The observation network HF CALYPSO, 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 survey points in the stretch of sea between Sicily and Malta.

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

The activities of WP3 therefore result in the increase of the observation area by creating a mixed network CODAR-WERA, installing a new wave buoy and seismometers. All the newly acquired data are standardised and integrated with the previously acquired data in order to implement a new multi-instrument observation network.

It is therefore expected to create an observation system that is improved both spatially and temporally, with the aim of providing operational support more efficiently to territorial administrations, thereby guaranteeing useful data to the stakeholders to support decisions related to measures taken to mitigate risks from extreme events related to climate change.

The instrument integration and creation of a measuring network, 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, in order to provide products and services to various stakeholders.

Apart from the necessary technical work, this activity includes interacting with end users to identify problems (national and cross-border) and the relevant solutions. In this context, the Decision Support System (DSS) is the tool necessary to find the requested solutions. This WP capitalizes on the results of previous projects, through the transfer of knowledge and infrastructures used to monitor 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 DSS constitutes a platform where data and products are integrated to provide services to all the interested users.

The objectives for the implementation of the DSS include:

  • the use of data in the operational chain following international standards;
  • an intuitive Internet interface that allows effective use of the DSS by the users.

The DSS therefore supports the stakeholders’ decision making, both during routine operations and when making strategic decisions related to risk analysis related to the occurrence of emergency situations.

This WP is managed by UM (PP6) by virtue of previous experience in the field of marine data acquisition, modeling and implementation of marine services forecast for the Sicilian channel. The PP6, in collaboration with the leader and with the others partner, leads the design, development and implementation of the DSS that constitutes the point of access to the data by the beneficiaries and the competent authorities.

Within the DSS, new services are being developed and integrated, such as 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 maritime traffic operations. The implementation of weather, hydrodynamic and wave motion models at very high definition contribute to the resolution of problems in coastal areas such as erosion processes and flooding due to extreme events (changes in the coastline).

Thanks to the partner Transport Malta – TM, data related to navigation routes, both current and planned, will be included, indicating the appropriate size of the marine climate zoning areas, based on both present and future requirements.

The latter are key elements to consider in assessing potential relapses on the marine-coastal environment, especially in view of the well-known Marine Strategy Framework Directive.