D2 - Smart sensor system use

D - Sensing, Control and Electromechanics

Status - published
Last updated on: 07/02/2020


Improved control and operations requires better use of sensor systems to measure of behaviour of individual ORE devices and arrays and the environments in which they operate.


Identify, evaluate and validate sensor technologies, data transmission, integration and interpretation systems to support improved control and management.

Context And Need

Although ORE devices, particularly wind turbines, have a large number of sensors measuring individual device performance, the measurements are typically not treated in an integrated manner to allow rich understanding to be extracted. In addition, device measurements are typically not linked to comprehensive environmental measurements. As ORE devices become larger and more complex additional sensing modalities will be required to support improved control and structural health monitoring.


Smart sensors may be embedded within structures and ORE machines, or may be developed as part of autonomous monitoring systems. In order to develop sensors fit for purpose in the offshore ORE environment, there is a need to identify, evaluate and validate sensor technology, data transmission, integration and interpretation systems to support control and planning of operations and maintenance. This includes both sensing applied to individual ORE devices, arrays of devices and the environments in which they operate.

Impact Potential

Improved understanding of ORE device behaviour, along with the environmental drivers (wind, waves and tides) can help reduce LCoE through improved energy yield, improved prediction of remaining lifetime, and improved planning of maintenance operations and reduction of damage from extreme events. Improved planning of O&M can also reduce the need for high-risk offshore operations. Improved measurement of environmental impacts can help reduce unwanted impacts and improve societal acceptance of ORE.

Research Status

Current activity includes EPSRC funded projects:

New Partnership in Offshore Wind EP/R004900/1, 2017-2022, https://npow.group.shef.ac.uk/

Structural Health Monitoring of Systems of Systems: Populations, Networks and Communities, EP/R003645/1, 2018-2021, https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/R003645/1

HOME-Offshore: Holistic Operation and Maintenance for Energy from Offshore Wind Farms, EP/P009743/1, 2017-2020, https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=EP/P009743/1


Condition Monitoring of Wind Turbine Drive-Trains via Non-Contact Acoustic Sensors, 2016-2019, https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/200428/factsheet/en


Other active research projects:

  • FLOTANT (Innovative, low cost, low weight and safe floating wind technology optimized for deep water wind sites): The main objective of FLOTANT is the development of innovative solutions to improve the robustness and cost-efficiency of 10+MW wind turbine generators in deep waters (100-600m). This goal will be achieved through the design and test of specific components, as well as the assessment and optimisation of the construction, installation, operation and decommissioning techniques, in line with state-of-the-art practices and environmental constraints http://flotantproject.eu/


We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.

Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape


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