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Pilot in the City Fjords of Bergen Measuring Particles Emitted from Water Treatment Facilities

Photo by Nordic USV
Photo by Nordic USV

A four-week pilot project with an unmanned vessel for water sampling in the city fjord of Bergen has marked a successful collaboration between the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and Nordic USV.

– We are very happy with the results thus far, and negotiations with industry and municipalities are on-going, to introduce them to the new technology says Senior Researcher in NIVA, Lars Golmen.

Unmanned Vessel Collecting Samples

Collecting coastal data is an expensive and time-consuming task with current methodologies.

Nordic USV has developed an online solution where clients can plan and order missions while also being able to take control of their assignments in progress.

With the docking station, Nordic USV can remotely end and start all missions. They then dispatch an unmanned vessel to carry out surveys and collect data as planned by the client. The data are then transferred back to their data solution, where clients can download the data as desired.

NIVA conducts many projects to monitor water quality in coastal waters and to find means to reduce loads to those from anthropogenic sources.

In this regard, having access to state-of-the-art and cost-effective marine sampling equipment is very important. Autonomous vehicles, such as Nordic USV’s, as platforms are in this respect, very interesting for NIVA, who hosts a fleet of misc. types of drones for monitoring.

Connecting the right people to create more business are one the perks of being a cluster member, we are very happy to have played a role in this case, CEO Owe Hagesæther, GCE Ocean Technology.

GCE Ocean Technology = NIVA + Nordic USV

So, how did an established enterprise like NIVA and a small start-up like Nordic USV find each other?

Last August, Sander Henriksen, CEO of Nordic USV was featured in GCE Ocean Technology's "Cluster Insight", a segment designed to spotlight the daily operations and challenges faced by its partners and members through a series of questions.

Henriksen revealed that his eagerness to join GCE Ocean Technology stemmed from a desire to gain a deeper understanding of the ocean industry and to establish connections with potential collaborators or companies sharing mutual interests.

The article caught the eye of Lars Golmen from NIVA who reached out to Henriksen.

– Through a series of phone calls and emails over the summer, our dialogue led to the conception of a pilot project, says Golmen.

Their collaborative effort culminated in a four-week pilot project in the city fjords of Bergen – Byfjorden. The focus was on assessing the amounts of particles released from water treatment facilities, and ambient hydrography.

Four consecutive marine surveys with the USV were performed during January-February 2024 in the vicinity of the outfalls from the Holen and Ytre Sandviken sewage water treatment plants.

Illustration: Example of turbidity profiles measured by the USV at Ytre Sandviken on 18 January, 2024.

The on-board CTD measured turbidity, salinity, temperature, oxygen, and pressure down to the pre-set 40 m depth at 10 stations (positions).

Data files were made available to NIVA shortly after each survey, for further processing and reporting. The survey programme worked out according to the plan and traces of the outfall plumes in the fjord were clearly seen in the data.

The pilot project was a success, setting the stage for both parties to explore potential commercial ventures based on their collaborative work.

About Nordic USV

Nordic USV is at the forefront of imagining a future dominated by unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) that revolutionize data gathering, environmental monitoring, and navigation across the world's waterways. Through the adoption of cutting-edge technology, Nordic USV is committed to empowering businesses, researchers, and communities with the information needed to make informed decisions for a better future.

About NIVA

The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is Norway's premier institution for water and environmental research. Specializing in ecosystems in both freshwater and marine environments, NIVA's expertise spans from mountainous regions, through lakes and rivers, to the fjords and open sea. NIVA develops scientific knowledge and solutions to challenges at the intersection of water, climate, environment, biodiversity, human activity, resources, and society.

Contact Information

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Communication Manager

Kjersti Boge Christensen