Project CAMELOT is result of an international cooperation between several European entities and is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 740736. In its essence, CAMELOT responds to the H2020-SEC-2016-2017 call, namely the Sub-topic 2 (Enhanced command and control systems for the surveillance of borders in a 3D environment Autonomous surveillance) of the SEC-20-BES-2016 topic.
With 22 beneficiaries from 11 European Union member states or associated countries (Portugal, Spain, Belgium, France, Greece, UK, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Switzerland), CAMELOT has a total budget of 9.9 Million Euros, funded at a 70% rate for Industrial partners and at a 100% rate for non-profit organisations, such as research centres and governmental entities.
The topics under this section will further describe the project in terms of its motivation, objectives and organisation, as well as expected outcomes.
Need to manage gradual abolition of border controls between member states
The free movement of persons and goods within the European Union has led to the gradual abolition of border controls between member states through the Schengen agreement. This has led to new challenges concerning the security of European external borders. Recent events (such as the correlated waves of illegal immigration and refugee crisis or the attacks in France, Belgium, Germany and other European countries) have contributed to increase the pressure and stress put on the external borders of the EU. To put things in perspective, according to FRONTEX, 283000 migrants entered the EU irregularly in 2014 (source: FRONTEX). In 2015, this number almost quadrupled to approximately 1 Million migrants (according to IOM and UNCHR). The other largest challenge in addition to illegal immigration is smuggling. During 2014 and 2015, various national authorities working in collaboration apprehended over 19 tonnes of cocaine and 85 tonnes of cannabis in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions (source: MAOC).
Single widely supported or adopted standard for multi-platform, multi-domain and multi-service Command and Control
Each member state and border practitioner exploits its own set of assets in their goal of border surveillance and control. States have invested significantly on these assets and the infrastructures necessary to manage and control them. As new capabilities and assets become available (e.g. unmanned systems which are frequently based on stove piped control segments) and, as current Command and Control (C2) systems (some of which are proprietary, use closed interfaces and are monolithic) become older, border control practitioners are faced with the increasing challenge of how to integrate new assets and command and control all of them (old and new) in a coordinated and coherent way without having to invest in a completely new C2 systems built from the ground up. To compound these issues, there is currently no single widely supported or adopted standard for multi-platform, multi-domain and multi-service Command and Control. Current challenges for border practitioners in terms of C2 of border surveillance can be summarised by the following:
- Need to rationalize new investments in both assets and C2 systems not to jeopardize the significant previous investments in infrastructure and sensors;
Need to integrate new, often heterogeneous, assets in a coherent and consistent way with the existing C2 border surveillance systems;
Desire for widely supported standardized multi-platform, multi-domain and multi-service Command and Control;
Desire for reduction of footprint/space, power, logistic support and other costs associated with the acquisition and integration of unmanned vehicles from more than one operating domain in current border surveillance systems;
Desire for increased interoperability between border surveillance assets and systems in line with the vision of EUROSUR;
Ultimately, the capability to adequately address an increasingly complex threat environment.
The overarching scope of CAMELOT expressed above can be broken down into the following high level objectives:
It is important to highlight that the prosecution of the objectives above will require on the one hand the implementation of tools and frameworks over which the modules will run (as mentioned, there is currently no widely adopted standard meaning CAMELOT will need to carry out targeted development in this area) and on the other hand limited research and development in some modules which currently present a lower TRL but have been considered extremely relevant by end-users.
The practitioners of CAMELOT have identified common challenges in the evolution and adaptation of existing assets and systems to the evolving challenges witnessed across EU:
Employing unmanned systems in support of surveillance activities – The engagement of manned aircraft, ground vehicles and/or vessels to carry out surveillance is expensive, dangerous and resource heavy. The capability to engage unmanned systems (of whichever type) to perform surveillance can increase the range and coverage while reducing operational costs and enabling manned assets to perform more vital activities such as interception and rescue.
Integrating new assets and sensors into existing communications and information infrastructures – As the range and type of sensors increases, the variety of assets and the area of operations grow, the need to integrate new types of data coming from heterogeneous sources and the capability to adequately control and command assets grows accordingly. This is problematic if sensors and platforms all use different (and often proprietary) data models, protocols and control segments.
Assimilating increasingly complex situational pictures in 3 dimensional space – As the size, type and capability of assets increase and become more varied and as the same happens with potential threats, it becomes even more important to be able to present information in simple, accurate ways, allowing decisions makers and operators to correctly interpret situations, assess risks and determine best reactions
Filling the gaps
CAMELOT intends to fill these gaps in terms of standards for C2 systems for heterogeneous platforms and sensors (with an emphasis on UxVs) by validating enhanced capabilities and new functionalities built upon frameworks following open and well defined interfaces. This will help practitioners and member states rationalize their investments in new C2 infrastructure (allowing for either a “pick and mix” type of approach or completely new developments supported by a large set of EU industry) and take advantage of niche components developed by specialist companies. CAMELOT will achieve this by prototyping service modules exploiting partners’ background that complying with an architecture that will be chosen during the project. This selection will be based on a survey of existing standardization efforts. All modules support directly needs expressed by at least one CAMELOT practitioner. The proposed CAMELOT modules and scope is represented in the schematic of Figure 1 and will be explained in the next paragraphs.
It is expected that by the end of the CAMELOT project, a standardized framework is implemented that encompasses the service modules (updated or new) for which the end-users have expressed a need or desire for the command and control of unmanned heterogeneous assets.