Monitoring of offshore power cables and foundations by Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing

The BOPTIC project addresses needs of the offshore industry by reducing the OPEX cost of the Balance of Plant (BOP) for offshore wind by the development of innovative monitoring technologies for the cables and foundations using emerging optical (OPT) sensing technologies.

The BOPTIC project is looking for the following solutions:

  • For cable monitoring: burial depth measurement, lifetime measurement/estimation of the XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene), freespan detection, strain on the cable, bending moments, fatigue measurement, partial discharge, impact of anchors or trawling nets
  • For foundation monitoring: scour depth/soil integrity monitoring, continuous load/bending, moments assessment, weld crack detection

The general purpose of the BOPTIC project is to deploy two exiting optical distributed measurement techniques (Distributed Acoustic Sensing, DAS and Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry, OFDR) and develop installation techniques and analysis methods for new applications in an offshore environment, hereby adding to smart cables and smart foundations of offshore wind farms. 

This research project wants to investigate in depth how to use distributed OPT sensing techniques to:

  • Monitor strain and bending in offshore power cables during installation and operation
  • Monitor strain and bending moments of monopiles with high spatial resolution during their lifetime for stress hotspot location and scour depth/soil integrity evaluation
  • Detection and Monitoring of electrical faults of an offshore power cable during operation
  • Detection and Monitoring of cracks on welds of offshore structures during their lifetime

IMDC is responsible for:

  • Providing the OrcaFlex simulation for the subsea cable macro-behavior
  • Developing a digital platform using SYNAPPS of IMDC to collect in real time the monitored data
  • Support the team during the review of documentation of other work packages


  • R&D partner: IMDC, UGent, OWI-lab/VUB, OCAS, Com&Sens, 24SEA, Marlinks, Laborelec, Parkwind
  • Support: Flemish Blue Cluster and VLAIO
  • Start date: 2020
  • Completion date: 2022