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Newsletter n. 4

Newsletter of 20/05/2014
Thanks for reading the IONIO Project newsletter.
IONIO (Ionian Integrated Marine Observatory) is a project funded by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme “Greece-Italy” (2007 – 2013). It is aimed at designing and implementing an integrated observatory that will provide environmental information and meteo-oceanographic measurements about the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian (SANI) Area.
To learn more about IONIO, please visit www.ionioproject.eu. On the portal you will find all the information related to the objectives and contents of the project, along with specific sections about the products and services provided by IONIO and designed for its final users.

Deployment of the first two Argo floats of the IONIO observatory

The first Argo float of the IONIO observatory was deployed on 28th of November 2013 northwestern of Corfu, close to Othoni island.
The initial deployment position (latitude: 39,827°N, longitude: 19,232°E) was close to the entrance of Adriatic Sea while during the last communication on 8th of December, the float’s position was reported to be further north. Then, the second Argo float of the IONIO observatory was deployed on 14th of March 2014 westwards of Kefallinia island (initial deployment position: latitude: 38.144°N, longitude: 20.239°E). The Argo missions were planned to comply with the MedArgo standards, i.e. the parking depth was set to 350 meters, the profiling depth to 1000 m while the transmission interval was set to 5 days.
The data from these missions will be available in near real time through the IONIO data portal.

The Ionian Forecasting System is now available on the IONIO website

In the web page dedicated to the IONIO products, it is now available a direct link to IFS (Ionian Forecasting System). Based on POM and WAM models for the hydrodynamic and wave forecasting, IFS was implemented at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), in Greece. The operational chain provides daily forecasts for the southern Adriatic and the north and central Ionian Sea, for the following variables: temperature, salinity, currents, sea surface height and significant wave height.

IONIO on e-Navigation portal

e-Navigation is a global concept developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It is defined as the harmonized collection, integration, exchange, presentation and analysis of marine information onboard and ashore by electronic means to enhance berth to berth navigation and related services for safety and security at sea and protection of the marine environment (for more information about e-navigation, click here). The IONIO project includes a Ship Routing and Safety Decision Support System (SRS-DSS) for getting safe and efficient ship routes using operational oceanographic and sea-state fields. Such DSS fits within the scope of e-Navigation and was recently listed as a testbed in the e-Navigation portal. The e-Navigation portal is a platform managed by IALA (International Association of Lighthouse Authorities) for connecting technical and academical research activities and providing information on prototypes of e-Navigation. Besides IONIO, the e-Navigation portal presently lists projects: ACCSEAS, EfficienSea, MONALISA and ARIADNA.

Coming soon: next conferences, workshops, meetings

“Safer Transport in the Mediterranean Sea” conference:
the conference will be held in Lecce, Italy, on May 27-28, 2014. The conference is one of the events within the “European Maritime Day” initiative, and will bring together international researchers, policy makers and practitioners concerned with operational services in support of marine safety.The objectives of the conference comprise:
  • The analysis of the status of implementation of operational services in support of maritime safety (including sea situational awareness, ship routing, search and rescue and oil spill);
  • the assessment of the users’ satisfaction with respect to existing services, and
  • the identification of needs for future services, through the elaboration of a vision document about safer transport for the Mediterranean Sea.
As in the provisional agenda, the event will start with an initial welcome and opening presentations by international and local authorities and policy makers. Then we will proceed with oral presentations and talks by practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders, grouped around the 4 main themes of sea situational awareness, ship routing, search and rescue and oil spill. The presentations will be integrated with working groups' discussions, where inputs and remarks by all participants will be collected, particularly about the future developments of operational services for maritime safety. For more information, please contact: Eleonora Romano - CMCC, e-mail eleonora.romano@cmcc.it

The 7th EuroGOOS conference:

the event will be held on October 28-30, 2014, in Lisbon. Every three years the EuroGOOS conference provides a forum for interaction between marine scientists and technologists that develop Operational Oceanography services, users and stakeholders, including the private sector and decision and policy makers.
The key priorities of the 7th conference will be to:
  • identify new operational services and methods of interaction with users, with emphasis on sustained economic growth;
  • highlight the challenges of monitoring and forecasting the biogeochemical state of the seas and oceans and prioritize the required RTD with emphasis on the needs of relevant directives such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and its regional implementation;
  • develop new strategies and plans for key European initiatives (Copernicus Marine Service, EOOS-European Ocean Observing System) and their links to the Global programs (GOOS, GODAE – Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment).
The main themes of the conference are:
  • Meeting end-user needs and supporting Blue Growth;
  • Copernicus: Towards a European Centre for Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting;
  • Ocean modelling and forecasting: extending and improving predictability;
  • In-situ and remote sensing observations: towards a European Ocean Observing System (EOOS)
For more information, please contact eurogoos@eurogoos.eu Additional information is available here.
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Newsletter n. 3

Newsletter of 02/10/2013
Thanks for reading the IONIO Project newsletter.
IONIO (Ionian Integrated Marine Observatory) is a project funded by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme “Greece-Italy” (2007 – 2013). It is aimed at designing and implementing an integrated observatory that will provide environmental information and meteo-oceanographic measurements about the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian (SANI) Area.
To learn more about IONIO, please visit www.ionioproject.eu. On the portal you will find all the information related to the objectives and contents of the project, along with specific sections about the products and services provided by IONIO and designed for its final users.

The Adriatic Forecasting System is now available on the IONIO website

In the web page dedicated to the IONIO products, it is now available a direct link to AFS (Adriatic Forecasting System). Based on POM model, AFS was implemented in Bologna at INGV since 2003. Lately, the forecasting system has been ported and validated by CMCC and is now running on the supercomputers at Lecce premises, with further improvements of the code. The operational chain provides 7 days forecasts for the Adriatic Sea and sub-areas, for the following variables: temperature, salinity, currents, sea surface height, stress wind, heat flux. Moreover, the system provides the vertical profile of the whole Adriatic Sea, displaying the variations in temperature and salinity for the area of interest. You can access and download the AFS data for free via ftp server simply by writing an email to the following address: ocean-lab@cmcc.it You will receive an account (username and password) to gain access to the data.

The IONIO observational data are now accessible

In the framework of the IONIO project an information and knowledge management system has been developed. It is based on three pillars:
  • Knowledge on data and on who collected data and the framework (projects, data sets) within which data were collected could help to better evaluate their use.
  • The quality assurance and quality control protocols.
  • The access to publications that is supporting knowledge building.
The pillar 1 is based on directories, vocabularies and indices developed mainly in the EC Project SeaDataNet. The second pillar is based on data acquired with the best use of instrumentation and sensors. Their functioning principles must be know, as well as the accuracy for each parameters. Calibration and control of the electronic during the data acquisition should be part of the best practices. There are important activities underway on the development of standards for describing sensors and measurement processes. The Knowledge Building (KB) theory was developed for describing what a community of learners needs to accomplish in order to create knowledge. The theory addresses the need to educate people for the knowledge age society, in which knowledge and innovation are pervasive. In IONIO knowledge building is implemented providing access to publications and a discussion forum. In the web page dedicated to the IONIO products, there are two new links working:
  • Observational data / IONIO In Situ Portal: direct link to the IONIO Insitu data portal providing access to vocabularies, data in delayed mode, protocols, publications in order to allow a comprehensive consultation of data;
  • Access to data: direct link to the IONIO Insitu database, providing observational data from buoys and ship of opportunities.
The map on the right frame uses a google map interface, with all 'Google' commands facilities. It is possible to select several parameters, temporal and spatial ranges, the type of data based on instruments, typology such as vertical profiles or time series, cruises. To visualize the data you have two options:
  • View "Number" display only tables with data per month and year and other class;
  • View "Summary" show also the data in a Google map.
Moreover, in the left frame it is possible to select, query and view graph, data, metadata for stations.

The HCMR hydrodynamic and wave operational hourly forecasts for the SANI area are now available

The HCMR hydrodynamic and wave operational hourly forecasts for the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian (SANI) area can be accessed through the following opendap address: http://poseidonlas.ath.hcmr.gr:8080/thredds/catalog/IONIO/catalog.html The new forecasts are available daily until 10:00 am Greek time (09:00 Italian). The files have been named following MyOcean specifications. Data visualization (as provided for AFS forecasting system) will be available soon.

The IONIO team is pleased to inform about two recent papers

Coming soon: next conferences, workshops, meetings

  • Second MonGOOS meeting The second MonGOOS (Mediterranean Oceanography Network for the Global Ocean Observing System) will be held in Puertos del Estado (Madrid, Spain), on 2-3-4 October 2013. For further information, please visit the MonGOOS website.
  • 2014 Ocean Sciences MeetingOn February 23-24, 2014, ASLO, TOS, and AGUwill convene the biennial Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Scientists from around the world will participate to exchange knowledge and discuss issues covering the broad spectrum of marine science disciplines, including physical, biological, chemical and geological oceanography, technology and multidisciplinary topics. The Scientific Planning Committee is developing a program that will cover a wide range of topics in aquatic sciences.Check the conference web site for up-to-date information.

Past events

  • GNOO: Third National Meeting in Oristano GNOO - The Italian National Group for Operational Oceanography – met in Oristano (Sardinia) on June 3-5, 2013, for its third national meeting, entitled "Operational Oceanography, technology and innovative innovations".
  • IONIO Project on International Innovation A brand article on the IONIO Project was included on International Innovation in June 2013. The article provides an overview of the project and of the concept of marine integrated observatories. Together with details about the scientific approach and the general design of IONIO and its services, the article features an interview with Paolo Oddo, principal investigator and scientific coordinator of the project. The pdf version of the article can be downloaded at the following link: IONIO_Brochure_Low_Res.
  • RITMARE Project for the restoration of the Mar Piccolo of Taranto On April 23, as part of the “RITMARE” project, initiated by the Italian National Research Council (CNR), took place in Taranto a conference entitled: “The project for the restoration of the Mar Piccolo of Taranto.” The activities of the Project were presented, with details on the different Operational Unities focused on the National Interest Site of Taranto and, in particular, on the Mar Piccolo. These include initiatives for environmental restoration of this precious site.
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Newsletter n. 2

Newsletter of 21/03/2013
Thanks for reading the IONIO Project newsletter.
IONIO (Ionian Integrated Marine Observatory) is a project funded by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme “Greece-Italy” (2007 – 2013). It is aimed at designing and implementing an integrated observatory that will provide environmental information and meteo-oceanographic measurements about the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian (SANI) Area.
To learn more about IONIO, please visit www.ionioproject.eu. On the portal you will find all the information related to the objectives and contents of the project, along with specific sections about the products and services provided by IONIO and designed for its final users.

IONIO, steps forward after the first annual and SHs meeting

The IONIO partners have recently met in Corfu to discuss the project status and steps forward both at a scientific and at a managing level. This was the first IONIO annual meeting, set up to check the implementation of the project and to assess the work done so far by the partners, identifying also common strategies and actions to further develop the different work packages in which the project is organised. In this occasion, the IONIO partners decided to host the first Stakeholder consultation meeting. This was an important moment of confrontation with several representatives of the possible end-users of the IONIO products and services, which gave relevant feedbacks on their expectations and requirements for the operational development of the Decision Support Systems.

IONIO annual meeting

The first IONIO annual meeting took place in Corfu on the 31st of January 2013 and on the 1st of February 2013. In the very nice framework of the Greek Island, the partners discussed about the progresses that have been made since the starting phase of the project analysing every work package. IONIO project is designed to downscale already existing regional products to a resolution that would allow their use in coastal applications in the South Adriatic North Ionian area (SANI). The project will deliver an integrated observatory for the SANI area and a modelling forecasting system as well as downstream services and products for users, namely a web based service (web geo-portal) and three decision support systems (DSS). The observing system is a very important part of the project for the provision of information and data. This system is based on the Ship of Opportunity Programme (run by ENEA), on the monitoring system of the Ferry Box - which allows the collection of different environmental parameters from the ocean surface - on the buoy components and on the Argo floats (run by HCMR). The visualization of the data, collected through these different tools, will be displayed in the IONIO geo-portal, a web interface of easy consultation, which will make observations available for the end users of the IONIO services. Along with the observations, the models are the other core component of the IONIO project. The forth work package is dedicated to the model development. At the IONIO meeting were presented, in particular: SANI-I, SANI-II, the wave model and the coastal model for the gulf of Taranto and their interactions with AFS and MFS (Adriatic and Mediterranean Forecasting Systems). A very good progress in the pre-operational test period was reported by HCMR. The combination of different models is neede to better develop the different applications within the project and the different Decision Support Systems. The observations and the models are the base for the development of the different services offered by the IONIO project. The three Decision Support Systems were presented at the meeting, with details on the state of implementation of the research phase. The Ship Routing and Safety DSS is designed to provide the optimal route considering the safety restrictions posed by international organisations but at the same time taking into account several environmental parameters, such as wave height, winds, and currents. The Search and rescue DSS is based on the Leeway model, coupled with three more models, to acquire information about currents, waves, atmospheric conditions and the trajectories of objects on the sea surface under influence of wind and surface currents. The Pollution Hazard Mapping DSS is concentrated on oil spill modelling, as this is the most common type of hazard. At the moment, this DSS is based on MEDSLIK II oil spill model configuration. The next developments include the collection of ship route data, the collection of data on the quantity of oil discharged or transported along the selected ship lines, oil spill hazard simulations design based on stakeholders needs and the production of hazard maps using the currents from the SANI models.

The first consultation with Italian and Greek Stakeholders

Within the IONIO annual meeting was held also the first consultation with both Italian and Greek Stakeholders, representatives of the potential end-users of the IONIO services both from the public and the private sectors. The 19 people involved are representative of different bodies, all closely linked to the marine world, such as the Coast Guard, the Ministry of Shipping and the Port Authorities, but also Environmental Agencies, Marine Parks, Shipping Companies and Sailing Clubs. After a brief introduction of the project, the Stakeholders made a presentation about their activities and the way they considered those might get benefits from the development of the IONIO products and services. Then followed a detailed presentation of the IONIO Decision Support Systems and a discussion with the Stakeholders regarding the implementation of these services in line with their specific needs. The Stakeholders were also given the IONIO questionnaires, in order to be able to provide their detailed feedback on each of the IONIO products and help the scientific team to better tailor and implement the services, taking into accounts their comments for the further development of these tools. The meeting was a first, important occasion for the establishment of a positive and constructive dialogue, which will continue and improve the quality and the concreteness of the project.

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Newsletter n.1

Newsletter of 02/10/2012
Thanks for reading the IONIO Project newsletter.
IONIO (Ionian Integrated Marine Observatory) is a project funded by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme “Greece-Italy” (2007 – 2013). It is aimed at designing and implementing an integrated observatory that will provide environmental information and meteo-oceanographic measurements about the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian (SANI) Area.
To learn more about IONIO, please visit www.ionioproject.eu. On the portal you will find all the information related to the objectives and contents of the project, along with specific sections about the products and services provided by IONIO and designed for its final users.

Transport in the Mediterrenean, the fourth report of the Mediterranean Lab Group

Is now available the fourth issue of the Mediterranean Newsflash, by the Mediterrenan Lab Group, which focuses on the thematic pole of transport. The Mediterranean Lab Group, coordinated by the IP Valencia, is a platform for thematic discussion, exchange of good practices and creation of synergies between different stakeholders and ETC project practitioners dealing mainly with transport in the Mediterranean area. The group was born following the White Paper on Transport, EU2020 and the future Cohesion Policy, which mean both challenges and opportunities for regions and local actors in the development and management of sustainable transport policies and projects. The aim of the Lab Group is to highlight EU priorities, to share experiences and to identify key issues on which territorial cooperation programmes and projects should focus in the coming months.The relevant stakeholders for the Lab Group are European Territorial Cooperation programmes, projects and other organisations involved in Mediterranean issues, who share common aspects that range from the topics and thematic challenges to the organisational/management and administrative details. The members of the Lab Group analyse how Mediterranean programmes and projects comply with the challenges of the area, try to figure out how to create synergies between programmes and projects and are keen on contributing to improve the overall quality of cooperation programmes and projects in the area. Taking into account the challenges the Mediterranean area faces, the Lab group is focused on environment, maritime safety and transport/ accessibility. These themes are the core business of the “thematic poles”. The fourth report issued by the Lab Group gives an overview of how transport is being addressed by the European Union, by the Cyprus Presidency of the EU and in the Mediterranean area. It also covers the contributions that European Territorial Cooperation projects are making to sustainable transport and it spots current challenges, such as private partner participation or bureaucracy.

Sea Conditions, meteo-marine forecasts for the Mediterrenean Sea

SeaConditions” is now live. It is the first product of  the TESSA project, designed to provide meteo-marine forecasts for the Mediterrenean area. The general objective of the TESSA project is to improve and consolidate the products and the operational oceanography service in Southern Italy and to integrate this service with technological platforms of dissemination of information.Sea Conditions is a free service of marine forecasts for the Mediterranean Sea. It is based on numerical models coupled with satellite data and in situdata (ships of opportunities, buoys). The service provides three days forecasts with specific time sections (every 6 hours).Sea Conditions enables the consultation of both marine and atmospheric forecasts.For more information and real time forecasts please visit Sea Conditions website.

IONIO to be presented to relevant regional stakeolders for testing and improving

The design and the first outcomes of the IONIO project will be shortly presented to a group of regional stakeholders, both Italian and Greek, who will get to know the general frame work and the specific objectives of the project providing helpful and qualified feedback in order to test it and improve it.The Stakeholder Advisory Board will be composed by representatives of the public and private end-user community of the two countries such as the Port Authorities, the Coast Guards, the Environmental Protection Agencies, and the Shipping Companies. All these subjects, given their expertise in the field, will help to fine tune the products and services provided by IONIO.

“MyOcean Science Day”, the second meeting of the marine community

The 2nd edition of "MyOcean Science Days" will be held on 19-21 November 2012 in Geesthacht near Hamburg in Germany, in the premises of HZG (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht ). "MyOcean Science Days" (MSD) welcomes the whole Scientific community concerned by R&D activities on ocean observing and forecasting systems. MSD 2012 will provide a forum for discussions on scientific and operational topics. It is also meant to create efficient links between scientists and strengthen the marine community. The discussion will be mainly focused on issues related to data, modelling, data assimilation and  validation and also to users and downstream applications.For futher information and details on the event please visit “MyOcean” official website.

In December 2012 the first IONIO annual meeting

The first IONIO annual meeting will be held in December 2012. The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) will host the event, keep the logistics and disseminate the results to the partners. ENEA will support the distribution of documents via web communication.

The IONIO project got underway in Lecce: kick-off meeting of the project

The kick-off meeting of the IONIO project took place in Lecce (January 24 - 25, 2012) at the CMCC's headquarters.Better management for emergencies, an updated database for sustainable maritime transport, real-time information for ship routing and safety: this is the IONIO (IONian Integrated marine Observatory) project, a European initiative aimed at designing and implementing tools for environmental information on the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian (SANI) Programme Area to support safer maritime traffic and the reduction of pollution hazard.Funded by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme "Greece-Italy", IONIO involves researchers belonging to three different institutes (CMCC – Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, ENEA and HCMR - Hellenic Centre For Marine Research) who will work together in order to develop analyses and tools to improve safety and sustainable perspectives in the SANI area.
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