The goal of the ARCOS project is to design and implement an early-warning system named ARCOS (Arctic Observatory for Copernicus SEA Service) providing continuous monitoring of the Arctic region. Designed to generate actionable products in the security domain by processing and fusing multi-sensor data, the ARCOS system integrates available information from space, non-space sources and products available from Copernicus Services such as the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The specific objectives of the project are to

  1. Develop a mechanism for pro-active intelligence generation based on an early warning system
  2. Resolve the main technological challenges resulting from the large amount of data processed
  3. Resolve and exploit the challenges and opportunities due to the Arctic extreme latitude
  4. Develop an operational and scalable prototype of a web mapping platform
  5. Demonstrate the operational use of EO based intelligence relevant to the Arctic region
  6. Produce a roadmap for its transition into operations of the Copernicus SEA Service

The ARCOS system will generate information at three different levels of scale and user interaction:

Level 1.
Automatic Early-warning System Integration of space and non-space data sources for the triggering of alarms on the region when certain conditions are met. Automatic early-warnings are generated in case anomalous behaviors are detected. Changes triggering an early-warning could be of different nature, like detection of suspicious targets (e.g. vessels outside usual routes) or large scale exploitation of natural resources (e.g. sizable earthworks changes associated to infrastructure construction). For this wide-area monitoring, automatic extraction of analytics and AI techniques are applied.

Level 2.
User Driven Alert System where space and non-space data is processed on specific locations provided by the user. By obtaining a user guidance on the specific location and nature of the desired objects of observation, the alarms can be configured based on more specific information, such as pattern of activity (e.g. arriving or departing vessels from a harbour).

Level 3.
Geospatial Intelligence Products following early-warning generated in Level 1 or 2. Geospatial intelligence products requiring human intervention are provided upon user request. These products would require a comprehensive context analysis, usually requiring a coordinated approach over more than one location.

One of the main challenges to be faced by the ARCOS system is the extreme dynamic environment. In order to properly detect and identify changes, a consolidated pattern of life, built on stable natural and human behaviours, should be established and used as baseline. Big data, AI and Machine Learning will be applied for this purpose.

The ARCOS team

The ARCOS Consortium combines the necessary industrial and scientific excellence required to achieve the ambitious objectives of the project. SatCen is the Entrusted Entity in charge of the Copernicus Security Service in Support to EU External Action, while e-GEOS leads an international consortium formed, among the others, by GMV, who is also in ARCOS consortium. They assure full support to the coordinator and bring all the necessary expertise to achieve the challenging objectives of the project. SatCen, e-GEOS and GMV represent the “core” of the Consortium.

The ARCOS consortium is enriched by the North European institutions and companies FMI, ICEYE and COWI, which have a long and deep experience of work in the Arctic Region, and assures together with SatCen, a strong link with the end users. On technical research related to AI, the consortium is further strengthened with Politecnico di Milano.


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Massimo Sernicola


Project Coordinator

Antonio Araujo

GMV Aerospace and Defence SAU

Stakeholder Engagement & Policy Advice Task Groups

Donatella Giampaolo


Stakeholder Engagement & Policy Advice Task Groups

Lars Rosendahl Appelquist


Communications & Dissemination Task Group

Marco Corsi


Data Management Task Group

Julia Yagüe

GMV Aerospace and Defence SAU

Stakeholder Engagement & Policy Advice Task Groups

Patricia Pérez Ramírez

GMV Aerospace and Defence SAU

Data Management Task Group

Yannick Arnaud

European Union Satellite Centre

Communications & Dissemination & Stakeholder Engagement Task Groups