BiocolmarBIOCOLMAR is an offshore measurement station to provide the real data base from the ‎intended MRE installing site. It has been designed to measure the physico-chemical ‎parameters of the water as well as the sampling of the organisms colonizing offshore ‎structures.‎

Example of MRE applications

Marine growth is an inevitable phenomenon covering offshore structures in a short time ‎after the installation. Their appraisal and colonization have many harmful effects on ‎offshore structures and their periodical cleaning is an expensive operation. The convenience ‎is more important for Marine Renewable Energy market. Indeed, the construction, operation ‎and maintenance cost of MRE devices will affect the final price of the energy.‎ BIOCOLMAR allows monitoring MRE installation sites and collecting environmental and ‎marine growth data in order to optimize the design and maintenance costs of offshore ‎structures.‎

Key characteristics

  • It could provide the data for fixed and floating MRE devices as well as the mooring ‎line
  • It is adaptable to the environmental condition along with the possibility of ‎integration
  • it is light in weight and adaptable for the different measurement levels and time in ‎different depth ranges
  • it is a temporary measurement system and can be uninstalled after the project


The station has been designed in Nantes, France and is fabricated in La Rochelle. He first ‎generation is installed in La Basse Michaud located in French Atlantic Coasts.‎


BIOCOLMAR is an offshore measurement station which allows collecting the ‎environmental data and monitoring the MRE installation sites.‎


CameraThe stereo rig was designed to be a standalone tool for obtaining physical measurements and ‎recovering the 3D shape of structural components as part of underwater inspections.‎

Key characteristics

  • Self-contained unit –this device is capable of reconstructing fully scaled 3D models thanks ‎to the on-board measuring stick and the two artificial light sources on the device mean that ‎it can operate in low-light conditions, such as those typically encountered during underwater ‎inspections.‎
  • Redundancy – If for some reason it is not possible to use stereo imaging to automatically ‎recover 3D models, the on-board measuring stick, which is always visible in the acquired ‎imagery, allows us to estimate the physical size of objects in the scene nonetheless, as long ‎as the measuring stick is held close to the object of interest.‎
  • In-depth testing – We developed an experimental evidence base around several lighting ‎conditions and several distances between the cameras and the subject in order to ‎characterize the performance of our stereo system (in terms of producing good 3D ‎reconstruction results).‎


The device consists of two GoPro cameras, two waterproof artificial lights, and an ‎adjustable measuring stick. The two GoPro cameras simultaneously photograph a scene ‎from slightly different perspectives. By taking photographs of a target from at least two ‎different vantage points, 3D information of the scene becomes encoded in the imagery.‎


This device is intended to facilitate inspections of all offshore and marine structures ‎including marine renewable energy devices.‎

Example of MRE applications

CameraThis device can be used for quantifying cracks and visible damage forms, such as corrosion, ‎which appear on the surface of MRE structures. However, to leverage the full potential of ‎this device, we should look at 3D imaging. The 3D information that is captured by this ‎device can be used for volumetric measurements, documentation, and presentation to the ‎general public.‎ One specific application concerns measuring the shape of structural members that have been ‎colonized by marine growth. Marine growth significantly increases the diameter and ‎roughness of structural members. This introduces several problems; most notably, it ‎increases drag forces and creates unpredictable hydrodynamic instabilities. These factors ‎often cause a loss in structural performance and reliability, leading to shortened lifespans ‎for MRE structures.‎

Owners/operators of these structures, therefore, have a keen interest in monitoring the ‎progression of marine growth so that they can choose the best times to carry out costly ‎cleaning regimes, and so that they have more reliable estimates of the loading on a structure. ‎This is useful when assessing a structure’s eligibility for requalification schemes, which ‎ultimately, can prolong a structure’s in-service life. The diameter and roughness vary around ‎and among structural components, and require full 3D shape of the marine growth to be ‎computed.‎

History of projects

Figure 4

TOCCME Project

Autonomous multi-parameter probe for measuring the uncertainty of measurement of the ‎environmental parameters of degradation of materials at sea;

TOCCME ProjectExpected technical and economic impact

Degradation models of offshore energy systems, based on in situ data acquisition, are set ‎up to predict, optimize and therefore reduce the cost of their maintenance (corrosion, ‎diffusion mechanisms, marine growth).‎


In recent years, marine environmental monitoring programs have been set up to assess the ‎impact of marine renewable energy structures such as offshore wind projects and to ‎optimize their design.‎ The requirements of environmental measures with respect to marine renewable energy ‎infrastructure (accuracy and stability over time) are still at an early stage where researchers ‎‎‘materials’ and ‘structures’ need to work more closely with metrological scientists to both ‎to measure the impact of the technologies on the environment, and to evaluate the ‎impact of the marine environment on the technologies (corrosion, marine growth, …).‎

Scientific advances and innovation

TOCCME ProjectDegradation models of offshore energy systems are sensitive to the quality of input data.‎ As a result, the marine renewable energy industry expects robust measurement ‎protocols and quantification of uncertainties to better predict the aging of offshore ‎structures.‎Key parameters such as temperature, salinity and chlorophyll A are among the important ‎environmental variables used to evaluate the marine growth phenomenon on offshore ‎structures. However, measurements of these parameters encounter problems related to data ‎consistency and long-term comparability. Currently, EMPIR project submission frameworks ‎have identified that efforts are needed to ensure complete metrological consistency of ‎measurements, to harmonize measurement procedures and instrument calibration ‎methodologies, and to provide good reference materials.‎ This project aims to develop traceable and validated methods for measuring data trends ‎on seawater parameters such as salinity, temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen ‎and chlorophyll A, as well as measurement protocols with uncertainties lower than the ‎natural variation of the parameters.‎

The project will create and validate new reference documents for the measurement of ‎physico-chemical parameters of seawater. A protocol for the calibration and routine ‎control of field sensors of the variable will also be established and tested. In addition, ‎reference standards for in situ measurements of Chlorophyll A will be defined and ‎tested.‎ The traceability of the parameter records will allow the combination of databases of ‎different users, which is currently hampered by the use of non-harmonized calibration ‎practices.‎