- Project description
- Scientific background
- Project partners
Significance of the undersea test site “Digital Ocean Lab”
The difficult conditions in seawater make intensive, practical tests essential for reliable solutions. However, thus far there have been hardly any possibilities to test complex underwater systems and how they interact in real scenarios. The new offshore infrastructure of the “Digital Ocean Lab” (DOL), linked to the artificial reef off the coast of Nienhagen, will make it possible to develop and test underwater technology under real ocean conditions. The plan includes various underwater testing areas designed to cover the entire spectrum of underwater applications.
Contact person coordination / Contact person press
- uwe [dot] von [dot] lukas [at] igd-r [dot] fraunhofer [dot] de (send mail)
- peter [dot] menzel [at] igd-r [dot] fraunhofer [dot] de (send mail)
- daniela [dot] welling [at] igd [dot] fraunhofer [dot] de (send mail)
Underwater research and its challenges
The sea and its depths are a harsh environment that pose special challenges to humans and technology. Underwater systems of any kind need to operate with considerable autonomy, freed from WiFi and GPS. New communication and sensor solutions are in demand. Underwater conditions themselves--high water pressures, saltwater, biofouling, and powerful and unpredictable ocean currents--require specific and durable solutions as well as innovative materials. The detection of old munitions is an important field of application for underwater technology and is a major challenge given the poor visibility under water. At its Rostock site, Fraunhofer IGD is working with regional partners to develop sophisticated algorithms to improve underwater imaging quality so objects such as undetonated munitions can be detected, segmented and classified. The next step in the technology is already being taken: a smart camera in which AI-based, real-time image enhancement and object detection are implemented directly in miniaturized digital technology.