Digital Ocean Lab

The Digital Ocean Lab is located in an excellent neighborhood with many research and business partners.

An underwater test field in the Baltic Sea - the "Digital Ocean Lab" (DOL) - will provide research and industry with realistic testing opportunities for new underwater technologies. Starting from an artificial reef off Nienhagen, several test areas for different scenarios are being created under the direction of Fraunhofer IGD. The "Ocean Technology Campus" is being built around the land-based control center of the new underwater test field in collaboration with Fraunhofer IGD, the Subsea Monitoring Network e.V. and Rostock Business. On the site of Rostock's cargo and fishing port, it will create a productive environment in which marine technology can be developed and tested in close cooperation between research from various disciplines and industry. Successful technology transfer should be even more successful thanks to the close proximity, leading to faster and more successful innovations and helping Rostock to play a leading role on the international technology markets.

Research test field off the Nienhagen coast

The artificial reef off Nienhagen is home to two test sites for different applications, DOL 1 and DOL 2, which is currently being planned.

The DOL 1 is particularly recommended for environmental research in (shallow) water: the artificial reef is suitable for monitoring and protection research of sensitive reef ecosystems. In addition, a large area is available for technical research, where surveying technology can be tested and calibrated and, for example, the effects of waves on structures can be simulated. There is also an AUV test and UXO training area in the immediate vicinity of the reef.

The DOL 2 is tailored to the detection of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and offers generous areas for testing underwater cables. A combined test field enables extended testing possibilities under real conditions.

The Digital Ocean Lab (DOL) off the Nienhagen coast.
DOL 1 offers space for reef-related research, reef monitoring, surveying technology, calibration of technical equipment and much more. It also serves as an AUV test and UXO training site.
The planned DOL 2 includes test areas for cable laying and UXO.

Surveying technology and calibration

The Digital Ocean Lab offers a selection of professional devices:

  • private RTK transmitter on the platform
  • Multibeam Echo Sounder: Teledyne Reson Sea Bat T51R
  • Sidescan Sonar: Klein MA-X View 600
  • Magnetometers on work class ROV: Comanche, Sensys
  • Inspection class ROVs: Valor, BlueROV
  • AUV: ecoSUB (1660 kHz sidescan, camera)

Technical equipment:

  • 4G cellular data
  • 5V, 12V, 24V, 220V power supply
  • Inspection cameras (also under water)
  • Spotter (waverider)
  • ADCP data (waves, currents)
  • High-resolution multibeam (ResonSeaBatT50)
  • Weather station (coming soon)
  • External support:
  • Diving team
  • Several vesselsROVs (up to working class)

Spotter buoy for measuring:

  • Waves
  • water
  • temperature
  • wind
  • Real-time data via IridiumREST API

Maritime monitoring via:

  • AIS monitoring
  • HR cameras
  • Satellite data

Installed objects:

  • Calibrated magnetic objects (Sensys)
  • Non-magnetic objects (aluminum, LMB dummies)
  • Cable parts
  • Scrap metal

If required, there is free space for installing additional objects.

Virtual training facilities are available.

Virtual training options

Possible use of the DOL 2

  • Sector 1: Cable tracing
  • Sector 2: Cable fault location
  • Sector 3: Cable crossing
  • Sector 4: Combination cable/pipeline crossing/UXO
  • Sector 5: Cable playground
  • Sector 6: Free space for customer requirements

Additional related useful services:

  • Live cable tracing / detection in cooperation with grid operators (Interconnector HVDC Baltic1, export cable HVAC Baltic 1&2 and Ostwind 1&2)
  • Test area North Sea / Helgoland, Norddeich
  • Wide range of port facilities for preparation and storage in Rostock
  • Wide range of operation and maintenance services in Rostock
  • Space for temporary use for the installation of turntables / carousels etc.

Example sector 1: Cable tracing

  • Installation depth 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 m
  • Each cable is laid in stages
  • Route width to be defined

Types of cables

  • Min. 1x export cable (AC), length preferably 500m (min. 300m)
  • Min. 1x export cable (DC), length preferably 500m (min. 300m)
  • Min. 1x inner field cable, length preferably 500m (min. 300m)
  • Min. 1x fiber optic cable, length preferably 500m (min. 300m)