Coronavirus response: NATO scientists help Connecticut forecast the spread of COVID-19
NATO’s own laboratory, the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), based in La Spezia, Italy, is assisting the US state of Connecticut in its handling of the COVID-19 lockdown.
In collaboration with the University of Connecticut (UConn), the CMRE has developed a modelling capability to forecast the spread of COVID-19. The Centre’s scientists and the University’s professors are contributing to the work of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Council, which is advising the Governor of Connecticut on strategies to "re-open" the state.
This collaboration uses the CMRE’s models for accurate predictions of a ship’s future positions, which are normally used to detect anomalous behaviours associated with illicit activities at sea. The mathematical techniques behind these models are similar to those used to describe virus-spreading behaviour patterns. CMRE scientists were therefore able to adapt their knowledge and apply it to the forecasting of the spread of COVID-19. Their methods were validated by using data from Italy and the United States. The NATO CMRE and UConn scientists are now in the process of publishing a scientific publication that will compare the performance of their approach to standard models.
“The NATO Centre here in Italy has world-class scientists who can apply their expertise to new areas of science and assist Allies in combatting the spread of the coronavirus,” said Dr. Catherine Warner, Director of the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation.
The CMRE is a leading scientific research and experimentation facility that organizes and conducts scientific research and technology development, centered on the maritime domain, delivering innovative Science & Technology solutions to address defence and security needs of the Alliance.