NeXOS sensing technologies

NeXOS will contribute to the monitoring requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Cost-efficiency will be improved through specific innovations of broad spectrum, robust, complementary measurement technologies that can be hosted by existing in-situ observing systems, including mobile platforms (drifters, gliders, vessels) and fixed platforms (buoys, moorings, seafloor stations, cabled observatories).

Ocean in-situ sensors can generally be classified into three general transduction mechanisms. Either they use optics, acoustics or electrochemical techniques – except for a few exceptions. In NeXOS, large innovative and variable coverage potential, compatibility with several platforms, as well as relevant synergies have been identified in optical and acoustical sensor systems and a critical mass of expertise was brought together to be able to bring significant progress.

With respect to fisheries management and NeXOS specific contribution to the CFP, new, very sturdy, small size and very-low cost sensors will also be developed specifically for fishing vessels. New chlorophyll and oxygen sensors (optical) will be developed for installation on fishing nets. The sensors, defined herein as an EAF sensor system (Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries), will be integrated on the RECOPESCA system. Specific communication needs and sturdy packages will be required for the new sensors and thus NeXOS dedicates specific activities for their respective developments (WP7). Other NeXOS developments will be studied (WP1) for potential integration within the system. The sensors will also enhance the contribution of fishing vessels to the monitoring of several GES descriptors.

To contribute to GES descriptors 4, 5 and 8, the first objective of NeXOS is to develop multifunctional optical sensor systems exploiting and integrating the capabilities of fluorescence and absorption technologies. These can be applied to a range of biological and chemical variables, including nutrients, Green House Gases (GHG), phytoplankton, contaminants, etc. Unifunctional optical sensors have already been used on both mobile and fixed platforms with satisfactory results.

The NEXOS approach will allow for flexibility in regard to the type of substances that can be identified. This is because of the hyperspectral measurement concept that can be adapted to different measuring tasks by adapting the detection algorithms.

To contribute to GES descriptors 1 and 11, the second objective is to develop multifunctional passive acoustics sensor systems for in-situ sensing of underwater noise, both ambient and anthropogenic, and marine life (e.g. aquatic mammals, fish reproduction areas, among others), as well as relevant ancillary variables. These sensors are robust and have proven effective on mobile and fixed platforms. Passive acoustics complement optical sensors in several ways, in particular through the potential for remote sensing of underwater phenomena.

To contribute to the needs of the CFP, including GES descriptors 1, 3, 5 and 7 (Table 2), the third objective is to develop a robust multifunctional system for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), based on new very sturdy, very low-cost sensors. The system will build upon the RECOPESCA system.

Sensing Technologies