DOLPHIN will improve the detection of small or fast boats widely used for drugs trafficking and illegal immigration.
The aim of DOLPHIN in the area of Border Surveillance is to improve the decision-making and response capabilities of authorities in charge of the control and monitoring of European maritime borders. The reference policy is the European Commission’s communication on the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), in which three key objectives are identified:
- reducing the death toll of illegal immigrants at sea through increased rescue operations;
- reducing the number of illegal immigrants entering the EU undetected;
- increasing the internal security of the EU by contributing to the prevention of cross-border crime.
The European sea border is the largest external border of the Union (approximately 70 000 km) and therefore presents the biggest challenges in terms of control and monitoring, for the prevention of criminal activities like illegal immigration, drugs trafficking, smuggling and tax fraud.
Areas close to the European coasts can be monitored by ground positioning systems such as AIS, but they have a limited range. So in the open seas only Earth Observation satellite-based systems can provide data and monitoring capabilities.
The optimisation of services in the area of Border Surveillance stems from the combination of information from cooperative positioning systems (VTS/AIS, VMS, and LRIT) and remote sensing observation systems (radar in particular).