ASTRID-Maturation - ASTRID-Maturation

Hydroacoustic SPM measurement technology for operational use – MESURE

Submission summary

Among the great challenges of operational flow monitoring, Suspended Particle Mater (SPM) measurements are of primary importance nowadays because they address several fundamental environmental, industrial and society issues related to the monitoring and prediction of extreme climatic events and their impact on fluvial, estuarine and coastal nearshore morphodynamics; the management of hydro-electrical resources; the integrated coastline management strategy; the monitoring of waste water networks; the optimisation of our natural water and sediment resources; the design of hydraulic structures; the fisheries resources management.
Besides, SPM are clearly identified as one of the key factors driving the effective functioning of coastal marine areas. In a context of underwater warfare, the lack of knowledge concerning SPM dynamics currently represents an obstacle to the successful deployment of marine platforms during military surveillance and/or combat operations.
Access to a reliable SPM measurements science thus possesses a solid dual interest, answering to both civil and military needs, and converging towards a better knowledge of the physical processes responsible for the impacts of SPM on the environment and the socio-economical context.

However, the science of SPM measurement, which aims at estimating SPM concentration, sizes and fluxes, remains at a very low Technological Readiness Level (TRL3) in spite of the significant progress made over the past two decades in operational monitoring of flow current, discharge and bathymetry (TRL>6). This situation arises from the inherent complexity of the SPM measurement principle, requiring scientific knowledge and methodological expertise still not readily accessible to the industrial sector. As a result, a profound technological gap exists in SPM measurement science between the academic and industrial sectors. The present MESURE project has the objective to overcome this gap via the transfer of skills and know-how acquired during 2 DGA funded PhD thesis (G. Formant, LDO, 2015, T. Revil-Baudard, LEGI, 2014) toward the industrial partners of the project (UBERTONE and CNR), in order to respond to the urgent needs of this dual market. The project has the following objectives:

1. Make a significant technological step toward operational SPM measurement (TRL 5)
2. Transfer the measurement innovation to the SPM technology developed by the company UBERTONE
3. Allow the technological evolution of existing operational hydroacoustic instruments toward operational SPM technology
4. Valorise the developed SPM technology among the industrial (CNR) and public (SHOM, IRD, IRSTEA) operators and within the European research consortium Hydralab+ (H2020 project)

To reach these objectives, two specific tools will be developed: the hydroacoustic inversion tool HYDRAC and the prototype UB-MES by the UBERTONE company. The originality of the envisioned tools lies in their high technological readiness level (TRL 5) , which ensures the emergence of a performant SPM technology of operational use and its potential commercialization by the business partner. Furthermore, the operational use of the project output technology shall cover a large spectrum of civil applications (industry and research) but also defence applications via its implementation on hydroacoustic field data to be provided by the SHOM, partner of the project.

Project coordinator

Monsieur David HURTHER (Laboratoire des Ecoulements Géophysiques et Industriels)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LEGI-CNRS Laboratoire des Ecoulements Géophysiques et Industriels
UBO-LDO (UMR6538) Laboratoire Domaines Océaniques
SHOM Service Hydrographique et Oceanographique de la Marine
IRD-LEMAR Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin (LEMAR)
IRSTEA Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture

Help of the ANR 444,545 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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