A promising approach towards extending and improving border surveillance capabilities, which is being investigated in response to various policies and regulations, is to integrate and correlate information derived from Earth Observation (EO) satellites with in-situ assets (fixed sensors and UAVs) to support improved decision-making. EO satellites use digital imaging systems which can either be passive using typically hyper-spectral/optical imaging sensors or active by using radar based technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The main limitations of EO satellite operations refer to their revisit time, operation programming time and processing time to deliver the information to the user. On the other hand, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have much shorter response times and provide more detailed information, patrolling over an area and tracking the target objects. Notably, the integration of EO satellites with UAVs and also with in-situ sensors (e.g. thermal and optical cameras) could play an important role in further enhancing border surveillance, complementing the weaknesses of each individual system.
In this context, the JASON project is in line with other promising EU initiatives (e.g., GMES), takes into account the particular Greek landscape characteristics, terrain morphology and user requirements, and gathers a consortium of significant background knowledge and expertise on the topic to address the joint synergistic and integrated use of satellite EO, navigation and telecommunication technologies for enhanced maritime and land border surveillance. In particular, JASON aims at the research and development of an integrated system for enhanced border security, addressing both sea border and land border surveillance, by fusing data from spaceborne sensors such as EO SAR satellites, airborne sensors such as UAV, ship-borne systems such as AIS (both coastal and satellite based), and ground-based sensors, such as optical and thermal imaging cameras.