COASTLINE (2024-2027)

Coastal Zone Environment and Geo-Sciences

Coastal zones are vital for biodiversity, culture, and Europe’s economy, but they face increasing vulnerability to climate change. Nearly 40 % of the EU’s population resides within 50 km of the sea, contributing to 40 % of the area’s GDP and 75 % of foreign trade. The dynamic coastal landscape poses challenges, necessitating advanced methodologies for mapping and monitoring. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the COASTLINE project unites academia, research and business sectors. This initiative pioneers international, inter-sectoral collaboration using geoscience and remote sensors to develop cutting-edge methods for documenting and analyzing coastal zones. By leveraging satellite observations, ground geophysical surveys, and GIS technologies, COASTLINE aims to create a sustainable blueprint for safeguarding these critical regions.


Funding: HORIZON-TMA-MSCA-SE – HORIZON TMA MSCA Staff Exchanges, €634,800.

CONNECTING Project (2024-2026)

The “Research and Innovation Knowledge Centre for Engineering in Heritage” proposal, in short CONNECTING, is built around the vision of the “Strategic Infrastructures” research call towards the creation of a knowledge centre equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and platforms, like vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drones, RGB, multi- and hyperspectral cameras, LiDAR systems, terrestrial laser scanner, soil moisture, ultrasonic, inclinometers, and wireless strain sensors as well as multibeam echosounder, that can promote research excellence about the detection, monitoring, documentation, and analysis of cultural heritage sites and monuments, both in land and underwater.

Partners: Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), InfraLabs, the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus (UoC), and the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus (DoA).

The project is supported by the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), the University College of London (UCL) and the Universidade de Aveiro (UAVEIRO). In addition, the project is supported by the Department of Land and Surveys of Cyprus (DLS), GeoFEM SME and UNESCO Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage.


LC3 Project (2023-2025)

LC3 Lemesos City Cooling Challenge will provide ground for taking systemic, inclusive, and multi-lever approaches to transforming city systems. Over the two-year journey, Pilot Cities will reflect and learn as they go, providing opportunities for other cities to follow in their footsteps, replicating and/or scaling approaches and solutions relevant to their context reflecting the Pilot character of the interventions.

LC3 proposes a holistic framework for energy-efficient building transformation in Limassol by planning to reduce:

  • The need for cooling (microclimate interventions)
  • the energy needed for cooling
  • Locally produce electricity from renewable sources
  • Use nature-based solutions to absorb and store CO2

using a systemic and innovative approach in the way to involve stakeholders and managing the social change.

Department of Civil Engineering and Geoinformatics of Cyprus University of Technology (NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme, NZC-H2020-202209,€1,500,000)

Funding: European Union / Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program / NET ZERO CITIES

ARGUS (2023-2026)

A remote monitoring solution to pave the future of cultural heritage preservation

Preserving our rich cultural heritage faces a critical challenge: the effective remote monitoring of built heritage assets. Current methods fall short, risking the deterioration of invaluable structures. In this context, the EU-funded ARGUS project emerges as a groundbreaking solution. With a focus on preventive preservation, it pioneers a novel digital twin model, advanced digitisation workflows, multi-scale multi-modal monitoring approaches and AI-powered decision-support methods. This ambitious initiative, uniting AI and cutting-edge technology, promises a transformative leap in heritage conservation, ensuring the longevity of our architectural treasures. Targeting researchers, stakeholders, authorities and the public, ARGUS promises real-time monitoring, long-term analysis and innovative strategies to safeguard our cultural heritage.

Funding: HORIZON-RIA – HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions, Culture, creativity and inclusive society, Total cost€ 3 996 147,50

OENOWATCH (2022-2024)

The aim of the OenoWatch project is to study, develop, implement, and pilot a holistic phytosanitary and plant protection system based on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and a series of cutting-edge technologies, as well as the establishment of a Competence Center for Precision Viticulture.

Implementation of a Decision Support System using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and establishment of a Competence Centre for innovative vine-growing to support the sustainable development of precision viticulture in Cyprus and maximize the national oenological potential.

Project Number : “INTEGRATED/0918/0074”



ARGO Hellenic USV | Standard Hellenic Independent Unmanned Floating System (2020-2023)

The present research project focuses on the development of an integrated unmanned floating surface system with important technological innovations in order to find reliable and economically viable alternatives to the problem of collecting dependable, fast, and easily accessible data concerning the aquatic environment. The system to be developed has customized “smart systems” of data capture and reading based on the combined use of sensors and terrestrial control systems to be remotely operated and managed. The system presents remarkable innovations in the following areas: 1) the on-board / real-time data processing/analysis capabilities, 2) an energy-independent and environmentally friendly platform (craft) entirely made of the latest aeronautical materials, 3) the development of advanced technology sensors (Photogrammetric and radiometric footprint, as well as its connection with pollutants, indicators, and inertial sensors) and 4) the information management software, which is the greatest innovation of the system, as for the first time, it introduces and imprints spatially the environmental variables recorded by its sensors, thus making it possible to manage data from Geographical Systems Information (GIS) from local or remote users. The proposed research project using smart unmanned floating systems aims to develop new methods for monitoring, recording, collecting, and analyzing data from the aquatic environment, with the main advantages of: a) the cost reduction – avoidance of purchase or rental of large conventional vessels per survey, or the development of large scale cost-ineffective networks of fixed measurement stations, b) the rational allocation of resources and the utilization of human resources, c) the capability of real-time monitoring, d) the expansion in the scope of the academic interdisciplinarity and e) the directness of communication lines among the participants of academic / and the private sector.

Partners: University of the Aegean, REMACO SA, Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Institute of Oceanography), ΑΜΒΙΟ SA, Fible Technologies, UCANDRONE

Funding: This research has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH–CREATE–INNOVATE (project code: Τ2ΕΔΚ-03141)

SPOTS | Spectral properties of submerged and biofouled litter (2020-2023)

This project aims to establish a spectral reflectance library (280 nm – 2500 nm) of submerged and bio-fouled virgin and marine-harvested plastic litter samples. Furthermore a creation of a library based on Spectral Response Functions of imaging technologies utilized on drones and satellite missions. A collection of measurements using off-the-shelf multispectral sensors (Slantrange, Sentera) for comparison with hyperspectral observations. Anisotropic properties of the spectral reflectance will be evaluated as well. A development of an optical predictive model that explains the attenuation of light related to plastic litter based on multispectral or hyperspectral observations. The identification of diagnostic spectral reflectance features of submerged plastics in the visible to near infrared spectrum and the production of an updated standard operating protocol for high quality observations for floating and submerged ocean plastics using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Partners: University of the Aegean, The Ocean Cleanup Projects B.V.

Funding: European Space Agency (ESA)

ARSx2 | AeRial System and Anti piRacy System (2018-2023)

Marine area surveillance system, using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to avoid and prevent merchant ships from piracy. The subject of this proposal is based on a business idea of developing two different types of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The first UAS will be suitably equipped with sensors and other recording instruments and an integrated processing system for the purpose of reviewing – recording, processing data, and identifying various unknown “targets” in marine areas to prevent piracy in commercial ships. In addition, it will be appreciably different from existing unmanned systems at both design and equipment level as it will have customized “smart systems” of data capture and reading based on the combined use of sensors and ground control systems to enable remote operation and management at the operational level missions. The second UAS system to be developed in this proposal will be flexible and easy to use by non-specialist operators. It will be deployed by its handlers in the case that the ship is occupied by pirates, to follow the vessel at a suitable height and distance for the first significant period of the ongoing piracy by relaying to appropriate frequencies an S.O.S. signal, and critical information. While following the ship, except the transmitting of the mayday signal (S.O.S), it will broadcast the position of the ship, and an image of the situation in vulnerable points of the vessel through a network of micro-cameras installed on the ship’s bridge, the escape room, etc. It is understood that the project contributes significantly to the competitiveness of enterprises and research institutions and will form the basis for providing advanced security services at the national, European, and global level. The whole business venture is based on the need for a constant supply of people travels security services and goods on merchant ships that sail in areas where active pirate groups.

Partners: University of the Aegean, AS Prote Maritime Ltd

Funding: This research has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH–CREATE–INNOVATE (project code: Τ1ΕΔΚ-04993)

High-Resolution 3D Mapping Project of the affected area of Vrisa from the earthquake of Lesvos on 12/06/2017 (2017)

The scope of this research project focused on the investigation of the utilization of computational vision algorithms and technologies – Geoinformatics methods related to the calculation of geospatial data in three dimensions from high-resolution terrestrial and aerial images. The synergistic utilization of the different methods led to the achievement of the optimal result of the three-dimensional mapping of the effects of the earthquake in the entire settlement of Vrisa Lesvos, after the catastrophic earthquake on 12.06.2017, in an extremely short period of a few days. The team of the University of the Aegean, having the necessary equipment and having developed the know-how and scientific background, used: a) cameras and b) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, selecting the appropriate sensors and using experimental aerial photography devices to collect high-resolution photos, in order to produce spatial information and geo-images of very high accuracy and resolution of the settlement of Vrisa.

Partners: University of the Aegean

Funding: North Aegean Region

Pilot application for the production of geospatial data for the Port of Skala Polichnitou (2016)

The purpose of the project was to capture the coastal area of the port of Skala Polychnitou, in Lesvos. In this project, new technology (drones and high spatial precision sensors) and scientific know-how were used for the production of geospatial data, as well as topographic and cartographic derivatives of the port at Skala Polychnitou. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System (UAV) equipped with a high-resolution optical sensor was used to obtain multiple images (vertical and lateral RGB images), in order to fully cover the port area of Skala Polychnitos. The project resulted in the mapping of the current situation of the port of Skala Polychnitos in high resolution, with the production of orthophoto maps for two different time periods.

Partners: University of the Aegean – Port Fund of Lesvos

Funding: Port Fund of Lesvos

Recording and studying of the erosion reversal phenomena in tourist beaches of the Aegean islands (2015-2016)

MRSG developed specific methodologies for identifying coastline and coastal zones (coastal morphology). The availability of very high-resolution digital surface models (DSMs) and orthophoto maps is of increasing interest to all scientists, especially those monitoring small variations in the earth’s surface, such as coastline morphology. This methodology acquired and processed high-resolution data for coastal zones acquired by a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attached to a small commercial camera. The proposed methodology integrated computer vision algorithms for 3D representation with image processing techniques for analysis. The SfM pipeline was used to construct the DSMs and orthophotos with a measurement precision in the order of centimeters. GEOBIA is used to create objects by grouping pixels that had the same spectral characteristics together and extracting statistical features from them. The objects produced were classified by fuzzy classification using the statistical features as input. The classification output classes included beach composition (sand, rubble, and rocks) and sub-surface classes (seagrass, sand, algae, and rocks). The methodology was applied to two case studies of coastal areas with different compositions: a sandy beach with a large face and a rubble beach with a small face. Both are threatened by beach erosion and have been degraded by the action of sea storms.

Partners: University of the Aegean

Funding: European Economic Area

Cross-border Cooperation for Maritime Spatial Planning Development (Thal-Chor) (2014-2015)

THAL-CHOR aimed at developing a methodology for MSP and then using this methodology for pilot application in selected areas in Cyprus (Limassol area) and Greece (Islands of Lesvos and Rhodes). Resolution of spatial conflicts between different uses of the sea, better coordination between stakeholders, and strengthening cross-border cooperation were also the project’s objectives. The following actions took place: (1) Stock-taking of human activities at sea and analysis of main features of the marine environment, (2) Development of a Web-GIS to display all collected data, (3) Overview of the legal framework and recommendations for its improvement, (4) Definition of future priorities and analysis of the future state in terms of the evolution of existing activities and development of new ones, (5) Pilot implementation of MSP in selected areas and drafting of pilot maritime spatial plans and (6) Evaluation of the methodology followed for implementing MSP and identification of good practices.

Partners: Ministry of Transport, Communication and Works – Department of Merchant Shipping (CY) – Lead Partner | Ministry of Interior – Department of Land and Survey (CY) | Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy – Special Service of European Funds Management (EL) | University of the Aegean (EL) | Cyprus University of Technology (CY) | Oceanography Centre of the University of Cyprus (CY)

Funding: Interreg A: Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Greece-Cyprus 2007-2013