MAritime Traffic Emissions: A monitoring network

Duration: 3 years (August 2020 until July 2023)

MATE is a MarTera ERA-NET Cofund project, in collaboration with partners in France.
Maritime ship traffic is globally increasing with 90% of the world trade being carried over the ocean. The emissions of the maritime traffic is a severe threat to the marine environment and coastal population, especially in ports and along shipping lanes with dense populations. Annual emissions from ship traffic reaches millions metric tons of particulate matter (PM2.5, i.e. < 2.5 µm), of sulfur oxides (SOx) and of nitrogen oxides (NOx). These pollutants haves been linked to severe health impacts and premature mortality in coastal populations across Europe and Asia. Such health impacts is are expected to worsen due to the continuing increase in the global ship traffic over the last decade. In addition, these pollutants are highly mobile being deposit to the water and transported across borders. With enforced regulations by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the European Union, port authorities are required to monitor atmospheric and water pollutants from ship traffic; not only along European waterways and ports, but globally. We propose to develop a complete monitoring network. Such monitoring system is not yet available on the commercial market, but required due to the enforcement of policy regulations. The network of buoys will allow continuous monitoring of ship emissions in the atmosphere and in the water, including black carbon (BC), oil residues, SOx and plastic debris. New sensors for black carbon will be developed as well a hazard awareness system for acute threats by ship collisions and oil spills. In case of acute contaminations, land-based drones get activated for airborne observation and tracking of contamination plumes. A towed vehicle allows the operator to monitor shipborne pollutions in coastal waters at a wider spatial range or upon severe accidents. Overall, MATE consists of a multidisciplinary team of engineers, oceanographers and atmospheric scientists working within a highly linked network of technological developments.

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