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Ref.: Sea Technology, Vol. 47, No. 9, pp. 15 - 20, September,2006.
Abstract: In the past few years Rapid Environmental
Assessment (REA), applied to shallow waters, has become one of the most
challenging topics in ocean acoustics. The REA concept evolved after
the cold war when the outset of regional conflicts shifted the
potential operational areas from open ocean towards littoral areas, and
has been identified by NATO as a new warfare requirement. REA must
provide detailed and accurate information, in near real time, in order
to prepare the maritime forces deployment into highly variable coastal
waters that are not well known. More recently REA has become a
promising technique for civil and scientific environment monitoring.
Such an interest arises because the coastal transition zone is a region
of significant fishing effort and of intense ship traffic. The rapid
knowledge of the dynamics and structure of coastal zones would assume
strong importance in the case of natural or man made hazards. Because
of the short time required for REA applications, the main topics of REA
have been identified as rapid data collection, data synthesis and
assessment, and dissemination of assessed products to action groups.