To main content

OSS – Ocean Space Surveillance

Environmental monitoring is a key element in sustainable exploitation of marine resources. The environment is under pressure from e.g. shipping and offshore oil and gas activities, and there is a large need for improved methods for monitoring and management. OSS aims to contribute to this by developing technology for continuous monitoring in time and space – by combining underwater wireless sensor networks and advanced ocean models for hydrodynamics, biology and emissions.

Contact person

OSS is an internally funded strategic research project of the SINTEF Group. SINTEF launches a small number of such consortium level strategic projects within carefully selected technology areas where the relevance and impact of our contribution is deemed to be significant. OSS is a cooperation between SINTEF ICT, Materials and Chemistry and Fisheries and Aquaculture.


Main research tasks:

  • Development of robust and efficient underwater wireless sensor networks.
    The main focus is on underwater acoustic network-technology, for both planned and ad hoc/emergency situations.
  • Improvement of ocean models based on sensor data.
    Rigorous mathematical methods are employed for assimilation of measurements into hydrodynamics models and models for the fate of discharges.
  • Optimized deployment of sensor networks.
    Usually the resources, in terms of the number of measurement locations, are limited. Hence it is important to find efficient placement locations.


Field tests April 2013 demonstrated real time wireless transfer sensor data and assimilation of such data into the SINMOD hydrodynamic model.


OSS finds applications in a wide variety of marine and maritime scenarios. Examples:

  • Petroleum industry: Regular and irregular emissions. Ad hoc situations.
  • Aquaculture: Water quality. Spread of lice, algae and diseases.
  • On-shore activities that emit substances or deposit masses into the sea.


OSS has spun off several industry projects, mainly for the petroleum industry.

  OSS Field work

Picture: OSS field work

Key Factors

Project duration

01/01/2009 - 31/12/2013