Activity 4: Research and development of optic fiber

Optic fiber is an emergent technology with a great potential for seafloor applications, in particular for continuous monitoring. Compared to mechanical sensors, optical fiber techniques are expected to be more robust and are therefore appropriate to the extreme conditions of deep open water environment. They further offer the opportunity of measurements at a reduced cost. Investing in this technology must therefore be a component of any marine research plan for the next decade. MARMOR proposes to investigate three potential high gain approaches: 

Acquisition of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) interrogators

MARMOR project will acquire one DAS interrogator to allow almost continuous measurement of dynamic strain along optical fibers up to many tens of km long measurements along an offshore decommissioned telecom optic fiber between Monaco and Italy. Aside from earthquakes, DAS data will be used to study the noise pollution of oceans, to quantify vessel traffic, and to evaluate the dynamic of the shallow and deep-water columns (see ID-FOO Project). OCA will operate the DAS and setup the data flow to the RESIF-SI portal.Challenges for DAS technology (e.g. the amount of data (T-bytes per day) and coupling of the optic fiber with the ground), will be both investigated.


R&D for optical geophysical sensors at the end of optical fiber

Optical fiber also allows to perform data acquisition inland while using sensors installed on the sea floor in remote open water. In the last years, IPGP & ESEO partners have developed an original approach for interrogating sensors at the end of long optical fibers, using Fabry-Perot interferometry. A first system is now operational inland with a seismometer. R&D within MARMOR will extend former developments to additional sensors for permanent, continuous multi-sensor monitoring at the sea floor.

MARMOR will acquire qualified optoelectronic interrogators (LOKI) to operate and test the various optical prototype sensors developed during the MARMOR project and Conduct R&D (including marinization and field tests) on new pressiometer and tiltmeter sensor prototypes for geodesy (the project will fund wetmettable optical sensors)


R&D for High resolution strainmeters using Bragg Grating technology

Bragg Grating Technology  has the potential to perform static strain measurement at the nano-strain level, being 3 order of magnitudes better than current available technology.


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