As stated in the 'Ostend Declaration' in 2010, a major challenge of the European Union and its Member and Associated States is to support the development of a truly integrated and sustainably funded European Ocean Observing System. This should be achieved with long-term measurements of key parameters but is currently impaired by the costs and lack of reliability of ocean sensors in general. The NeXOS project aims to improve the temporal and spatial coverage, resolution and quality of marine observations through the development of cost-efficient innovative and interoperable in-situ sensors deployable from multiple platforms, and Web Services for key domains and applications.
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Project Topic EU contribution Duration From
N° 614102 FP7-OCEAN-2013-2
Multifunctional in-situ sensors
€5,989,349 48 months October 2013
Spain (Coordinator), France, Germany, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands
The project will develop new, low-cost, compact and integrated sensors with multiple functionalities including the measurement of key parameters useful to a number of objectives, ranging from more precise monitoring and modelling of the marine environment to an improved assessment of fisheries. Seven new compact, cost-efficient sensors will be developed, based on optical and acoustics technologies, addressing a majority of descriptors identified by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive for Good Environmental Status. Two of the new sensors
will specifically contribute to the Common Fisheries Policy with variables relevant for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. New sensors will respond to multiplatform integration, sensor and data interoperability, quality assurance and reliability requirements. These will be specified for each new sensor system. All new sensors will be calibrated, integrated on several types of platforms, scientifically validated and demonstrated. One of the main objectives of NeXOS will finally be to enhance the competitiveness of European SMEs in the ocean sensor market.
To this end, sensor requirements and specifications will be assessed at an early phase of the project for market penetration.

NeXOS has broad scope since the needs of the maritime community are wide ranging. A systems engineering approach will thus be used to adequately manage the complexity of the work, which requires a 4-year project lifetime. This leaves three years for development of the sensor systems, and sufficient time for validation and demonstration afterwards. This time span also allows for possible contingency planning that will be developed as part of a specific work-package.
NEXOS European Added Value:
The increasing set of ocean variables to be monitored in European waters and beyond can only be reasonably addressed through a diverse scientific and technological expertise. This expertise is often specific to the areas monitored by a single State due to regional necessities. European waters monitoring requirements call for broad expertise in terms of variable diversity and related technical skills. Combining scientific groups from 6 European countries in the 4 main marine regions of the EU will provide a clear European added value. Collaboration between scientists and technical staff towards tangible developments will demonstrate Europe's capacity to create innovative in-situ sensing solutions, contributing in the mid-term to a more cost-efficient European Ocean Observing System. The innovation foreseen will also help to enhance European leadership in ocean sensor technologies.