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Interview with Alberto de Pedro, CEO of GMV

Photo: GMV

ESD: GMV is an old Spanish group. But 15 years ago, you bought a Portuguese company, Skysoft.
Alberto de Pedro: GMV is a privately owned technological business group with an international presence. Founded in 1984, GMV’s goal is to support our client’s processes by dint of technologically advanced solutions, providing integrated systems, specialised products and services covering the whole life cycle. These range from consultancy and engineering services up to the development of software and hardware, the integration of turnkey systems and operational backup.

Within the sound strategy of international growth and development, in May 2005, GMV bought a stake in Skysoft, a Portuguese firm with very similar business lines and target markets to GMV’s. In 2007 the process was completed, with operations then being knitted seamlessly into the rest of the business group. Since then GMV in Portugal has been growing in people, business and competences.

Within the Defence and Security arena, and for more than 30 years, the areas where GMV provides services are command and control systems, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, navigation, systems for future soldier, cyber defence, simulation and training.

ESD: You developed technologies for the intelligence community, cyber defence, space programmes, surveillance and security. May you exemplify some of them?
Alberto de Pedro: First, we would like to highlight a couple of products associated to the two centres of excellence of GMV based in Lisbon, related to avionics and maritime. The shiplocus@ suite, a multi-application platform focused on port management and maritime traffic operation that covers the needs of harbour authorities and port operations in different areas and services. In Portugal, shiplocus@ has already been deployed in the Azores and Madeira Archipelagos, and in the Port of Sines. The XKY RTOS (time and space partitioned real time operating system) is a ground-breaking commercial operating system compatible with highest aeronautic certification requirements (DAL-A). XKY is intended to serve as the backbone of integrated modular avionics (IMA) implementations that are expected to be key in novel aeronautic programmes.

In the Cyber Domain GMV has today a fruitful relation with CINAMIL, Research Centre for the Portuguese Army, which led to the execution of several contracts for EDA, including (among others) the development of the European Cyber Defence e-learning and training platform, or the usage of artificial intelligence in cyber-ranges.

GMV’s expertise in C4ISR is built on a track record of more than 20 years, which led to the development of a suite of multiuser and multi-mission products supporting planning, execution and monitoring of different levels of command operations. Main drivers of this suite’s design are standardisation and interoperability with external systems that will enhance effectiveness.

ESD: Last year you signed a contract with NATO for an innovative ISR project called “CSD Enduring Solution”. Can you tell us what it will do and how it is implemented?
Alberto de Pedro: This contract for the Coalition Shared Data (CSD) Services Enduring Solution upgrades the results of NATO’s MAJIIC2 (Multi-Intelligence All-Source Join Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Interoperability Coalition) to an operational state. In that way, CDS will maximise the use and interchange of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance resources by NATO member states. The proposed solution is composed of three main components: CSD ISR Product Library Services, Workflow Services and Stream Services.

ESD: Recently you coordinated the Iberian test of the maritime security project MARISA. It’s an EU project with the Portuguese Navy and other entities. What have you achieved so far?
Alberto de Pedro: MARISA targets the integration of Big Data with multi-sensor data-fusion; this ground-breaking technique involves the mining of data from different sources to glean useful, top-quality information, applied with maritime safety and security in mind. This is possible thanks to the development of a set of interoperable tools for easy access of the data generated by the various technological resources now up and running. GMV is responsible for system design, the development of anomaly-detecting and level-1 data-fusion algorithms, as well as carrying out the integration and operational trials.

GMV provided two main components guaranteeing different levels of fusion for tracking and anomaly behaviour analysis and developed a new adaptor from Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) to MARISA. The anomaly behaviour’s component deals with a sophisticated and impressive set of rules leading with different scenarios (entering, leaving, loitering, speed change, course, rendezvous…) and data. All these elements were successfully demonstrated to operational stakeholders representing a unique toolkit not comparable with any of their existing systems.

Still in the maritime domain, to highlight that in 2019, together with 24 other partners led by Leonardo, including the Portuguese Navy, GMV performed live trials for the OCEAN2020 (Open Cooperation for European mAritime awareNess) project. This PADR project, implemented by EDA, was able demonstrate enhanced situational awareness, in a maritime environment, through the integration of legacy and new technologies for unmanned systems, ISTAR payloads and effectors. A new set of trials is planned for 2020.

ESD: Thank you.

The interview was conducted by Antonio Bras Monteiro.