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  • Periodic Report Summary 2 - NEXOS (Next generation, Cost-effective, Compact, Multifunctional Web Enabled Ocean Sensor Systems Empowering Marine, Maritime and Fisheries Management)

NeXOS Report Summary

Project ID: 614102
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 2 - NEXOS (Next generation, Cost-effective, Compact, Multifunctional Web Enabled Ocean Sensor Systems Empowering Marine, Maritime and Fisheries Management)

Project Context and Objectives:
Oceans regulate the Earth’s climate and are integral to all known sources of life. Ocean processes are of biological, geological, chemical or physical nature, occurring at micro- to kilometre scales, from less than seconds to centuries, turning the understanding and the sustainable management of the ocean into a multi-scale and multi-disciplinary effort. Collection of in-situ observation of a volume that covers over 70% of the planet is also inherently challenging and remains generally difficult and costly in time and resources, with yet and so far a rather unsatisfactory result, in particular with respect to space-time resolution. Most chemical sampling methods are still experimental and expeditionary, i.e. based on costly laboratory analysis and field campaigns. These can also only harvest data for a limited time-space window, resulting in the problem of insufficient sampling resolution with potential, spectral aliasing. At the other end of observation strategies, real-time or near real-time permanent ocean observatories need to be more cost-effective and pervasive. As was highlighted in the ESONET project, reducing the frequency of sensor maintenance and implementing a remote management of sensors are important targets for cost-reduction. Following this trend, new sensor system transducers are also needed, which can measure several parameters with enhanced reliability.
European marine policy makers stated in the “Ostend Declaration” of 2010 that the major challenge is now to support the development of a truly integrated and sustainably funded European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to monitor key ocean processes. This would form the European component of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and would continuously monitor the European seas from near-coastal to open ocean, and surface waters to seafloor. Fixed and mobile observing platforms would be used to offer real-time, or near real-time, open and standard downstream services to the public and private sectors. To achieve this, more long-term measurements of key parameters are required, but the costs and unreliability of ocean sensors remain a major problem.
The general priority for all observing systems, monitoring strategies and sensor technologies is therefore to create mechanisms and technologies such that data has greater societal and scientific value, and the overall life cycle cost of sensors and observing systems is reduced. This will be achieved by innovations in data accessibility, reliability, interoperability and multifunctionality for the key ocean variables.
The general objective of NeXOS is to develop new cost-effective, innovative and compact integrated multifunctional sensor systems (ocean optics, ocean passive acoustics, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) sensor system), which can be deployed from mobile and fixed ocean observing platforms, as well as to develop downstream services for GOOS, Good Environmental Status (GES) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This will be achieved through the following specific objectives:
1. To develop a new, compact and cost-efficient multifunctional sensor system for optical measurement of several parameters, including contaminants such as hydrocarbons and other components of the carbon cycle.
2. To develop a new cost-efficient compact and integrated sensor system for passive acoustic measurements.
3. To develop a new low-cost sensor system for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.
4. To develop and integrate a miniaturised smart sensor interface common to all new NeXOS sensor systems.
5. To develop and apply innovative sensor antifouling technologies.
6. To develop a common toolset for web-enabled and reconfigurable downstream services.
7. To assess and optimise the economic feasibility and viability of the new sensor developments including the manufacturing phase.
8. To demonstrate new developments in real operational scenarios.
9. To work with producer and user communities to upgrade requirements and provide a system that allows easier transition to manufacturing and operations, bridging the gaps between science, industry and government.
10. To manage and coordinate the specific aims described above, and contribute to dissemination and outreach, to communicate the results and innovations of NeXOS.

Project Results:
During the First and Second reporting periods (M1 – M36), the consortium has been working in parallel at 3 different levels (Management, Scientific & Technical, Dissemination & Outreach). While the objective of the first period was establishing solid scientific and technical foundations, the last 18 months have focused on the implementation of identified requirements into developments for the different specific and transversal NeXOS innovations.
Execution of Management tools
As a result of the baseline documentation and guidelines established during M1-M18, all the management structures
and planning instruments have been activated and implemented:
- Intranet collaborative space (D11.2) and project website (D10.4), have been constantly updated, being fundamental tools for internal and external communications.
- WP11 and WP1 collaborated in updating development plans (D1.5) and activating the TIVD plan (Test- Integration-Validation-Demonstration) to track progresses and identify potential risks and bottlenecks from an early phase and propose contingency plans.
- The Technical Oversight Committee (TOC; D1.4) have been meeting on a monthly base, with the objective of supporting Project Management and D&O leader in the alignment of developments and project objectives and their correct outreach to user and supplier communities.
- The Advisory and Stakeholders Board (ASB; D11.3) met yearly at General Assemblies, providing fundamental feedbacks on technical aspects and business guidance for the future commercialization of NeXOS products. In close collaboration with D&O WP Leader, an important outcome of this activity has been the start up of an inter-project cooperation in the framework of the FP7 Ocean of Tomorrow (OoT) projects OCEANS 2013.2 call and the consequent activation of a data interoperability-working group, with the objective to maximize the impacts of NeXOS and OoT projects.
- The Subcommittee for the Advancement of Small and Medium Enterprise Competitiveness (ASCS; D2.2), was established as part of WP2 with the goal of ensuring the alignment of NeXOS developments with market requirements and to support the Project Coordination with IPR protection.
Scientific and Technical developments
To achieve the general and specific project objectives, Scientific and Technical developments have been structured in
Work Packages with transversal activities and specific developments.
• Transversal activities
Work performed by WP1 (S/T Coordination), WP2 (Economics) and WP3 (Engineering) provided requirements and key inputs for development work packages (WP4 to WP7) and considered the economic and market key criteria and constraints. Baseline documentation established during M1-M18 has been updated considering on-going developments and final users constraints during M18-M36. This includes final system requirements (D1.2), Project Implementation Plan update (D1.5), the Technology Readiness level assessment (D.3.1) and Functional analysis of NeXOS sensor systems (D.3.2). Finally, the result of the ASCS activity has fed into Deliverable D2.3: Economic Feasibility of NeXOS Innovations.
An important progress after the first Reporting Period, has been the beginning of activities of WP8 “Integration and Validation”, in parallel with specific innovation developments.
Specific Developments
Based on high-level specifications, intensive engineering developments from WP4 to WP7 have made substantial
progress toward the final delivery of products and integration in the selected platforms. Main results achieved are:
- D3.3 Biofouling Compilation Report
- D4.1; D4.2; D4.3; D4.4 and D4.5 (Interoperability, including SEISI interface and SWE standards)
- D5.1; D5.2; D5.3 and D5.4 (Optical sensor innovations)
- D6.1; D6.2 and D6.3 (Passive acoustic sensors innovations)
- D7.1; D7.2; D7.3 and D7.4 (EAF sensors innovations)
Dissemination and outreach activities
Within WP10 and with the support and contribution from all NeXOS partners, dissemination activities have taken place as planned (D10.1). Thanks to the project website (D.10.4), the project factsheet (D10.5) and its updates (D10.6; D10.7), NeXOS has organized and/or participated in a wide range of dissemination and outreach actions. Main features have been reported in D10.9: 1st Bi-annual D&O activities up to M24 and in Annex I of the periodic report; they include papers, articles, conferences, workshops, webinars and meetings.

Potential Impact:
The main outputs that NeXOS will produce are:
1. A set of new, cost-effective, compact integrated multifunctional and multiplatform sensor systems, for ocean optics equipped with an optional innovative antifouling system, ocean passive acoustics with embedded processing, and ecosystem-relevant variables for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.
2. An integrated and miniaturized smart sensor interface applicable to all developed sensor systems, together with a common toolset for standard web-enabled and reconfigurable downstream services.
3. A comprehensive economical assessment and industrialization strategy for the new sensor systems.
Expected impacts:
- Provide a large increase in the temporal and geographic coverage from in-situ marine sensors to enhance the European contribution to Global Monitoring of the Oceans
o The deployment of NeXOS multifunctional sensor systems will enhance data production capabilities and the quality control necessary for reliable routine measurements. Miniaturisation and standard interfacing further facilitate their use across different platforms, including floats, gliders, vessels of opportunity and fixed observing systems.
o With their multifunctionality and multiplatform compatibility, NeXOS sensors will increase the number of parameters that can be collected by the platforms currently used and increase measurement capability for new platforms.
o New interfacing capabilities will allow for real-time data to be collected without the need for a specialist. o Standard data and metadata descriptions will make it possible to understand and easily integrate all the
data collected by the new sensors.
- Increase availability of standardised in-situ data that is suitable for integration within key marine observation, modelling and monitoring systems and reduce ocean modelling uncertainty
o NeXOS will help to resolve this by providing and validating sensors with defined accuracy and data quality that can be deployed on multiple platforms (due to small size, low power demand, low price).
o The use of standard formats and protocols will also allow the data to be more easily archived, and so improve accessibility for the user community.
- Reduce cost of data collection system in support of fisheries management
o The combination of the new low-cost EAF sensors developed in NeXOS, with RECOPESCA as a cost-
efficient observing system (fishing vessels equipped with low-cost and reliable sensors), will contribute to
further reduce the cost of the data collection system.
- Advance competitiveness for European Industry's & particularly SME's within the Marine sensing sector
o NeXOS outcomes such as lowering the costs will benefit SME players since it will reduce the risk profile associated with investments. Increased sensor placements will lead to an increased manufacturing capacity. NeXOS will also contribute to the connection between scientific research and industry, giving
further advantage to European SME competitiveness.
o The NeXOS project can provide added value to the European marine sensor industry, by addressing the
industrialisation strategies required to realise the European economic added value from innovations.
- Enable better cooperation between key sectors (Manufacturing Industry, ICT, Maritime Industry, Marine Science, Fisheries etc.)
o Through the research tasks as well as the dissemination plan, intensive exchange between stakeholders across various user sectors has taken place and will continue until the end of the project, ensuring requirements from all marine sectors are properly taken into account.
- Support implementation of European Maritime Policies (MSFD, CFP, IMP, etc.)
o Thanks to the new developments, existing and emergent economic activities in the sea will better comply
with the Good Environmental Status defined in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
o The Common Fisheries Policy will be supported by new ecosystem-relevant data coming from fishing
vessels, used as platforms of opportunity.
o NeXOS works towards a Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for the EU’s maritime domain,
in line with EMODNET, SEADATANET, My Ocean/GMES and GEO related initiatives.
o The increase in the ocean monitoring capabilities will contribute to the areas targeted by the Blue Growth strategy, such as the sustainability of coastal tourism, ocean renewable energy, aquaculture and marine
mineral resources.
- Promote new discoveries leading to better understanding of the seas.
o The new sensors will support improved understanding by making new observations of key variables, not
possible or difficult to acquire with existing autonomous systems. The potential for new discoveries will be further increased by the possibility to install the sensors on a variety of fixed and mobile platforms.

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