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Improvement of Security for the passenger transport on ships (part 2)

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Geo-spatial type
Infrastructure Node
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

If Explosives used within terroristic attacks they are most often realized as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s). Terrorists try to try to gain a huge damage including a large number of injured or dead people as well as destruction of public - infrastructures of societal, economic or symbolic importance. An early detection and a sure situational awareness are the most important steps toward countering the IED and at the same time the most dangerous for the security personnel.


Ferries are one major element in the public transport sector having around 16 million passengers per year. Aim of the project VESPERPLUS was the development of safety models which can be adapted into security processes of harbours and ferries without creating a severe obstruction of the logistic processes and annoyance of the customers. Especially RoRo ("Roll-on/Roll-off") ferries were in the focus of the project because they transport vehicles, movables, and passengers.

The research is based on the results of the predecessor project VESPER


The software developed in VESPER is extended by training and simulation functions for decision-making support and is integrated into the nautical training program. The focus of the research in VESPERPLUS is in the field of ferry shipping and examines the so-called RoRo (roll-on / roll-off) ferries, on which vehicles and moving goods are loaded and passengers are transported. One of the main tasks is the harmonization and optimization of the safety structures of the ship, the harbour berth and the overall harbour.

Within the project, the following five work packages were defined:

  1. Optimization of the security architecture
  2. Technology integration for hazardous substances detection
  3. Decision support on board
  4. Instructions and training
  5. accompanying research


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Funding Source
Federal Ministry of Education and Research


The VESPERPlus project has designed security models that can be integrated into processes in the port and on the ferry, without causing serious disturbances in the existing processes. To this end, a new method has been developed that can be used to analyse and mitigate the weaknesses of a port regarding terroristic threats. The results of the project were made available to shipping companies and port authorities. After completion of the project, the risk assessment method was adopted by all German federal states with port facilities.

Findings of the study are published in detail by several final reports of the project partners (German only) which are available online via the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB):

Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE
"Safety architecture and multi-stage vehicle inspection model"[searchspace]=tn

University of Applied Sciences, Technology, Business and Design Wismar
"Integrated simulation for testing and training of combating of maritime security risks"[searchspace]=tn

Institut für Sicherheitstechnik/Schiffssicherheit e.V.
"Measures to increase the operational reliability of crews in threat situations"[searchspace]=tn

Technische Universität Braunschweig
"Simulation-based visualization for safety-relevant processes"[searchspace]=tn

MARSIG - Ingenieurgesellschaft für Maritime Sicherheitstechnik und Management mbH
"Contingency Planning and Decision Support for Security at the Interface Ship-Port Facility"[searchspace]=tn

Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences
"Detection Technologies in Harbors and on Ships"

Universität Hamburg
"Social and economic impact of new securityy measures in the ferry transportation sector"[searchspace]=tn



Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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