18. Assessment of the potential impact and feasibility of the project for ECIs and CGAs and final recommendations for the EC

This document contains a synthesis of the activities of SWING project to be presented to the chosen maritime authorities. This informative document is a survey of the main subjects dealt during the two-years project. The context in which the project has been developed is the protection of the maritime governmental agencies against the trheats or terrorist attacks. In fact, the potential risk of wide scale terrorist attacks able to put out of order, for a long period, the internet connections capabilities exposes the the maritime governmental agencies in a stage of vulnerability because of some essential information are transferred by means of internet both for management and control. This is particularly important in South Europe and the Mediterranean area. Recently this region has become the critical southern border of the EU more exposed to the cyber threat because the geographical disposition of critical infrastructures does not allow internet connectivity as efficient and reliable as in other north European countries. Then the present electronic dependence of the maritime governmental agencies, based on data/information exchange through internet, requires an alternative and independent high survival as back-up system of communication. The aim of SWING has been to study a high survival HF radio network (data/voice) to real time support of the maritime governmental agencies communications, maintaining the minimum flux of essential information for the management and control in case of wide scale terrorist attacks able to render internet links useless over the Mediterranean region. This will increase the awareness and protection of the maritime governmental agencies operators in the extreme case of the complete broadband failure of the communication.
To address what above exposed SWING achieved the following objectives:

  1. to identify the particular critical infrastructure and to study internet communications criticality of the maritime governmental agencies;
  2. to analyze the requirements necessary to management and control to propose a high survival HF radio network, evaluating the radio electric quantities in transmission/reception, modulation, and other techniques to transfer data packets and voice communication;
  3. to study Internet communications criticality and propose a methodology to alert HF network system of the maritime governmental agencies, monitoring and checking the internet traffic and individuate the local or regional Internet failures;
  4. to develop a communication software and hardware tools supporting reliable and interoperable Short Wave radio communication techniques for the maritime governmental agencies protection, proposing solution of the HF network architecture in order to avoid data packets collisions and communication conflicts (MAC, token protocol etc);
  5. to propose a frequency management and link optimization system taking into account the special characteristics of the ionospheric channel and interfering radio HFs;
  6. to design a radio-communication architecture for a distributed South European short wave radio network and realize a 4 RX/TX terminals of HF stations;
  7. to describe a general supervision program and a distributed supervision function able to run in every TX/RX terminal, determine the criteria for early warning alerts recognizing Internet interruption, and able to activate the procedures of HF network back-up in case of threat or attack, to maintain control over ECIs keeping them linked even in critical conditions, to evaluate the particular characteristics of the ionospheric channel in order to establish a suitable control system for the HFs selection, to prepare data packets containing the necessary information transfering the minimal amount of necessary information, to check the errors and the communications handshaking, to deactivate the HF network points, to communicate the stage when Internet is again available.