General framework of the activity
IMT Atlantique is one of the top 10 engineering schools in France, and one of the top 400 universities in the world in THE World University Ranking. It is a general engineering grande école financed by the Ministry of Industry and Electronic Communication, and the first Institut Mines Télécom “Mines-Telecom” school, founded on January 1st, 2017 from the merger of Mines Nantes and Télécom Bretagne.
Research at IMT
Research is carried out in one of our six research laboratories linked to national research organisations (CNRS – French National Centre for Scientific Research and Inserm – French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), and is managed internally by 13 teaching and research departments. With over 800 publications per year (including 400 top tier), approximately 90 researchers and lecturers authorised to supervise research, and on average 80 theses presented each year, IMT Atlantique is ranked among the top ten engineering schools in France, when it comes to research.
Development and corporate relations
Specific skills in the MRE field
At IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, research focused on digital technology, energy and the environment. Our research relies on skills and expertise in several areas, the main ones being:
- Subatomic physics and nuclear chemistry
- Energy and environmental processes
- Robotics and automation
- Mathematics (simulation, modelisation, optimisation, coding, decision-making)
- Modelisation and design of electronic, microwave and optical functions
- Implementation of algorithms for complex functions
- Signal, image and data processing
- IT, software engineering, artificial intelligence
- Networked systems (communications, energy, waste, water, air)
- Human and social sciences
Test facilities applicable to MRE
E-SENSE is an underwater robotics research platform dedicated to the study of a mode of bioinspired perception called electrical sensing. Inspired by electric fish, this sixth sense is based on the principle of emitting an electric field in the robot’s environment and measuring the disturbances reflected by the environment.
Entirely dedicated to electrical sensing, the E-SENSE platform is the only one of its kind in the world. It enables the development of innovative sensor technologies, including sensor development, reactive navigation algorithms, shape recognition and haptic feedback. The E-Sense platform is an ideal tool for industrial or academic promotion. Several ANR (French National Research Agency) projects and European projects (FET FP7 and H2020) were involved in its creation, and it has been used for contractual research in the fields of oceanographic prospecting, nuclear safety and offshore remote operations.
Today the platform is part of a joint lab with a young startup called ELWAVE, whose aim is to ensure the transfer to industry of technologies inspired by electric sense.
Projects in MRE
The result of 10 years of research conducted by the Institut Mines-Télécom in Nantes, ELWAVE solutions offer a unique combination of capabilities in the field of detection technologies. ELWAVE designs, manufactures and markets electromagnetic detection, navigation and characterization systems based on “electrical sense” a breaking technology.
The offshore energy and infrastructure sector (oil & gas, wind, underwater telecommunications) implements a range of production and monitoring resources operating under harsh and even extreme conditions: turbid waters, congested environments, pressure and extreme temperatures, requirements security of operations in contact with infrastructure.
These conditions constitute strong constraints for the deployment of underwater vehicles (ROV and AUV) and infrastructures characterization equipment.
With its unique ability to detect 360 ° and characterize any type of object (insulation and conductor) in water and sediments, ELWAVE brings innovative solutions for offshore industry players.
Energy storage at sea by air compression – REMORA:
Renewable energy production is by nature intermittent because it is linked to local weather conditions, such as wind generation. It is therefore essential to be able to store the energy produced in order to release it on demand. The system consists of compressing air by means of a pump pushing a column of water. The pump is powered during the operating phases of the wind turbine. When necessary (increase in energy demand or decrease in production), the compressed air is released into a power generator supplying the grid. In the industrial technology under development, this principle is used on offshore platforms. The compressed air produced is then stored in large underwater tanks. Unlike the model, the pump used for the initial compression of the air is also used as a turbine and current generator.
The system offers the advantages of obtaining very high-efficiency (70%) and low-cost electrical storage; of complementing offshore energy production farms by supporting their production and optimizing their connection capacities; and of developing a process with high environmental acceptability.
Training in the MRE field
The subject of renewable marine energies involves many technical, scientific, economic, legal and social issues. Indeed, for the implantation of an energy production system on a given site it is not only necessary to define and design it for the best energy return, while accounting for the hostility of the marine environment and its consequences on the durability of the system. Its possible impact on environment and biodiversity, and potential problems of social acceptability and usage conflicts with other utilizers of the coastal area must also be considered.
The objective of this master’s is to equip engineers or master’s graduates with the necessary skills to integrate marine energy engineering teams and lead large system projects calling for multidisciplinary technical and scientific skills.