Marine Measuring Technology

Scientific marine research and monitoring can only be successful if technology is available that works reliably with utmost precision even under extreme conditions. Within the framework of the scientific marine research, the BMBF supports the development of suitable devices and methods.

Scientific Marine Research subsumes a wide range of devices and services serving the measuring of sea-related data for situation recognition and monitoring. This includes both individual components and complex systems such as long-term stable biological and chemical sensors, surface measuring systems, maintenance-free subsea stations, remote-controlled underwater vehicles and drift units. The use of wireless and energy-saving underwater data transmission technology is particularly challenging.

From a technological point of view, the monitoring of marginal seas and open oceans has reached a new quality level. Automatic sensor and data transmission systems provide quick information on acute environmental changes. Date for the recognition of medium and long-term trends are provided in continuous series of measurements. Improved hardware and software systems enable the monitoring, configuration and control of the measuring systems.

The development and further development of scientific marine research and marine monitoring technology is a priority of the BMBF funding policy in the field of marine and polar research. In the past decades, an internationally recognized industry for scientific marine research and monitoring technology could be established in Germany in close cooperation between scientific research institutions and authorities as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

The BMBF project funding concentrates on the development of special sensor technology as well as on the design, development and manufacturing of autonomously working systems which are able to measure the parameters and constituents of water. The operating and application platforms of such systems differ greatly. They reach from special research vessels, permanently installed or anchored device bases (measuring platforms, measuring buoys), non-research vessels (so-called ships-of-opportunity) up to passive drifters.

Significant progress was provided by the satellite technology, which made it possible to receive the status parameter of the water body or its constituents gained by the measuring systems thousands of kilometres away in Germany virtually online.


Industrial companies, universities and non-university research institutions can apply for funding. Funding occurs by way of non-repayable grants, and companies usually have to participate with no less than 50 percent in the application.

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