CAMELOT Pilot Demonstrators


Most EU Member States have already implemented border surveillance systems. Hence, practitioners are interested in understanding what new capabilities and functionalities are available on the market or close to coming to market and how these can be integrated with their existing systems. Some examples are already in place regarding practitioners running projects for replacing their existing surveillance systems with new systems built from scratch (for example the case of Dutch Coast Guard which has an ongoing project to develop its C2 system). CAMELOT foresees 2 demonstrations serving two purposes:

  • To validate CAMELOT services in the most representative environments and operations of border control practice (both land and sea)

  • To give the opportunity to end-users to interact directly with the technology and provide valuable feedback to industry enabling future commercial exploitation.

The below indicative scenarios were selected in CAMELOT, covering the spectrum of potential use cases:

  • Smuggling and search and rescue of illegal immigrants at a coastal area (employing assets from PT-NAVY).

  • Illegal immigration and drug smuggling over a land border (employing assets from KEMEA).

  • Marine pollution detection (employing assets from partners such as PT-NAVY or others).

Smuggling and SAR of illegal immigrants


In this scenario, unmanned vehicles will be used to monitor and collect surveillance data on the transfer of illegal goods (e.g. drugs) between a large ship and a small very fast vessel and to follow the smaller faster vessel to shore and up the river Guadiana (south of Portugal, border with Spain). In parallel, both existing and new assets (i.e. UxVs) will be employed to search for “survivors” of an illegal immigration crossing in simultaneous parallel operations (simulating the stretching and re-tasking of assets). “Survivors” will be simulated. The location of the demonstration will need to include both high seas and coastal waters. Capabilities of interest in this scenario include resource mapping, mission optimization, 3D visualisation of the complex environment and all deployed assets, sensing and detection services as well as the interfaces to CISE and other surveillance systems. In situations like these where time is of the essence and assuming multiple assets are involved the capability to assess the mental workload of operators will also be interesting. The data will be used to support the maritime security duties of PT-NAVY. The unmanned vehicles could be deployed in and over territorial waters and high seas (up to 24 nautical miles from the shore) in the Algarve region as well as south Atlantic (Canary islands).

Interactions with the Spanish system and border control authorities are envisaged allowing us to test cross-border transfer of information. The main advantages of employing UxVs in this sort of mission are related to two aspects. On one hand, by operating an unmanned platform instead of manned platforms the user is able to reduce its costs (e.g. for UAVs flight hour costs are significantly when compared to manned aircraft due to the lower logistics, maintenance, training and pilot costs). On the other hand, and assuming service delivery models compatible with complete unrestricted access to the platform (e.g. total ownership or ensured service levels), UxVs may provide increased availability of assets (24/7) in an easier way than manned platforms (depending on which platforms are used, less concerns with personnel rotation).

Illegal immigration and smuggling over land border

It is common for immigrants to gather in Istanbul and Edirne City and to cross irregularly from Turkey to Europe on foot, trying to avoid or jump over obstacles. Along river borders, facilitators use mostly inflatable boats for 3-4 persons, overloading them with 8-10 migrants and crossing the rivers with paddles. There have been cases where facilitators used wooden motor-boats loaded with 20-40 people. During winter time (or when the level of the water is very high) there are cases where migrants are trapped on small island formations inside the river and search and rescue missions have to take place, either led by police or fire departments, or both. CAMELOT autonomous and unmanned platforms will be used to support the detection and identification of possible immigrants in areas surrounding Evros river in Greece. Services such as mission preparation, automatic asset tasking and control, mobile applications, augmented reality and automatic detection are of particular importance.

Marine pollution detection

In this scenario unmanned vehicles will be used to monitor and collect data that may be used for wide area monitoring, detection of pollution, support to pollution event monitoring and management and in-situ verification. Currently the most relevant marine pollution events are oil spills (accidental and otherwise). Information from the detection, monitoring and tracking of oil spills provides essential input to the decision-making process on response operations. Two different situations provide different contexts for operations:

1) Surveillance: When there is no information or data that indicates the existence of an oil spill. Unmanned assets could be used to monitor a wide area, for example an entire sea basin, often supported by satellite and aircraft-based earth observation solutions.

2) Monitor and track: When there is already data/information that indicates the existence of a potential oil spill and an indication (if imprecise) of its position, unmanned vehicles may be set in place to confirm the oil spill and track its evolution. The solutions can be supported by manned aircrafts and, if available, non-real-time updates from satellites.

Data collected by unmanned assets can be combined with satellite images, sea state and weather conditions, to deliver necessary integrated information to assist End Users in locating and identifying polluters in areas under their jurisdiction and to support the decision-making process on further actions required. Often, oil and Hazardous & Noxious Substances pollution is associated with dangerous gas emissions or open fires, which prohibit in-situ observation by manned assets such as vessels or aircraft. Hence, the importance of unmanned assets.

The actual execution of the demonstrations will follow a plan (to be established under WP9.1) that builds up confidence on the different demonstration components by testing them separately and combined (WP9.3) using real data simulating events and illegal activities captured in the field (during WP9.2). This means real staff and real assets from the project partners will simulate illegal immigrants, smuggling vessels, “survivors” of accidents or polluting vessels). Real sensors will be used to capture this data enabling the CAMELOT modules to fuse actual tracks, videos and images of these simulated events.

Demonstration assets will be transported by the partners to the demonstration locations which will have restricted access controlled by end-users and practitioners’ staff (i.e. will be cordoned off to the general public).

Briefings to all participants will be made and several dry-runs will take place. After the actual demonstrations, debriefing sessions to all participants will be implemented. Each demonstration will have a coordinator, responsible for managing all personnel and assets on site. Finally, all participants to the demonstrations will be drawn volunteers from the project partners and practitioners, some of which will simulate the perpetrators of the illegal activities foreseen or the victims of accidents.

Portuguese Scenario

Oil Spill Use Case

Step 1:
An oil spill at the sea is reported by satellite images provided by EMSA to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) indicating the coordinates of the spill

Step 2:
Several ships are sighted near the oil spill’s position. A fisherman reports that a merchant vessel in the area is suspected of cleaning own tanks as it is discharging of brown-oily water into the sea

Step 3:

Once the received images from the UAV have been analysed, the command centre decides to send a USV to captures close up images of the vessel and confirm the existence of pollution

Drug Smuggling Use Case

Step 1:

A suspicious vessel is detected by an AUV. The vessel position in confirmed on the radar of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) not displaying AIS and thus triggering an alarm

Step 2:

The UAV identifies the vessel as a sailing ship heading towards the shore and notes that there are RIB's in the water alongside the sailing vessel. Information is passed to MRCC and a Navy vessel is on a course to intercept the sailing vessel. The RIB's (4) leave the sailing vessel with persons on board and each proceed in a different direction towards the shore. Based on the USV and UAV feeds and also including shore-based radar information, assets are positioned to intercept the RIB's as they reach the shoreline

Illegal Migration Use Case

Step 1:

One RHIB with 10 figurants transiting to Setubal Harbour performs a distress call on CH74 to MRCC Lisbon. A UAV is deployed to detect and identify the vessel

Step 2:

A USV is deployed to escort the RHIB vessel until the arrival of the PT Navy Oceanic Patrol Vessel (PO NPO)


Greek Scenario

Step 1:

A group of 7 persons walks from country's T mainland towards the borderline. This group reaches the Evros river and inflate an inflatable boat which has no more than 3 meters length. They put the boat (with paddles) inside the water and board on it

Step 2:

They cross the borderline and reach Greek bank of the Evros river in a blind area for the legacy systems/sensors. Six (6) of them get out of the boat and start walking towards inland in an area NOT blind for CAMELOT platform. The 7th person drives the boat back to country T

Step 3:

Border guards receive a route to follow and are dispatched to apprehend the "persons", with one member of the dispatch team equipped with Augmented Reality glasses

Step 4:

Border Guards use the AR device combined with conventional tracking and navigational methods to locate and intercept the group of "persons" such that they can be apprehended. The AR device can be used to aid in confirming that the located party is indeed the party that is being tracked by the UAV.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • RG logo-white

© 2020 by CamelotCreated by EXODUS

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 740736.