Science Year »Seas and Oceans«: Discover. Use. Protect.

Exploring and making sustainable use of the world's oceans is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Scientists at Fraunhofer are developing the technologies needed to meet this challenge. The spectrum ranges from underwater vehicles and unmanned shipping to system technologies and visual computing, simulation and measurement technologies, all the way to finding uses for algae and aquacultures. 


Deep-sea space shuttle

The efficient autonomous navigation carrier platform DEDAVE

DEDAVE is in the shape similar to the well-known space shuttles. It can be used for underwater research applications, planning the relocation of submarine cables and inspecting them during operation, coast guard activities, deep-sea mining, the deep-sea oil and gas industry.


Volumetric sonar measurements

3D sonar matrix systems for mapping and object search

Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT's high frequency 3D sonar matrix systems allow fast high-resolution volumetric sonar measurements, e. g., to visualize and display the operator of an ROV a virtual reality of the surrounding and its field of work.


process technology

Extracting maritime gas and storing CO2

Gas hydrates are icelike inclusion compounds comprising gas and water can be found mainly in the ocean floor. According to estimates, the amount of carbon stored within these compounds is larger than that of conventional natural gas, oil, and coal deposits. Not only could maritime gas hydrates supply natural gas in the form of methane, they could also be used to store CO2. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT in Oberhausen are currently conducting laboratory and simulation experiments with the aim of finding ways to speed up the process. Their mathematical simulation model takes important variables into account, including temperature, pressure, and the distribution of the substances in question. The model can also determine the extraction rate based on the site of the deposit and the method of extraction. 


Autonomous systems

MUNIN - Unmanned frighter

MUNIN started under the direction of Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services CML in September 2012. Eight European research and industry partners compiled the concept of an autonomously operating ship. All together the main focus was on the development of the autonomous decisive systems aboard a bulk carrier which is distant-supervised in shore control centres. 


Transport of energy sources

Construct offshore pipelines more efficiently

The demand for energy sources such as oil and gas is continually increasing around the world. As a consequence, new transportation routes for these fuels are built all the time. To increase efficiency in pipeline construction, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK is adapting novel welding methods for offshore application. 


Cryophilic algae

Adaptation artist snow algae

Snow algae are exposed in many ways to extreme stress factors in their natural habitats. These include in the first instance cold, increased light and UV radiation, desiccation as well as severe alternations in nutrient and salt content. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology are characterizing the diverse adaptation strategies to these extreme environmental parameters and transfer them into industrial applications. 


RAVE research initiative

Knowledge for future offshore wind parks

Since 2008 the RAVE research initiative runs simultaneously with the construction and operation of the »alpha ventus« test site to attain broad based experience and knowledge for future offshore wind parks. Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES is responsible for the coordination of a multitude of offshore research projects at alpha ventus. 


Healthy eating

Seaweed instead of salt

Salt (sodium chloride) is an essential nutrient, but one that is often present in surprising quantities in industrially processed foods. Consuming too much sodium puts strain on the heart, stomach and kidneys. Fraunhofer researchers show how seaweed, which has a naturally salty taste, has the potential to replace salt. 


Speech recognition for safe maritime traffic

At the »Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology« (SMM) trade fair in Hamburg from 6 to 9 September 2016, the Fraunhofer IDMT will present a computer-assisted dialogue system that allows seafarers to train the standardised communication phrases for international maritime traffic.