Department of Marine and Digital Infrastructures

The Department of Marine and Digital Infrastructures (Infrastructures Marines et Numériques — IMN) provides services and conducts projects to create or modernise research infrastructures and advocate them to relevant national and international funding agencies.

Scope and focus

The ocean is a challenging environment and accessing, studying and exploring it requires advanced technology. The Department of Marine and Digital Infrastructures (IMN) operates IT support services and oversees projects to improve the research infrastructure for the fleet of oceanographic vessels and its associated instruments. IMN primarily functions as the project supervisor or the project contractor, but can also provide auxiliary support services (for internal or external projects). It also develops and manages the oceanographic databases to compile and provide access to data on the marine environment for the scientific community. It develops and operates information systems of IFREMER marine data in compliance with national and European directives in force.

IMN endeavours to advocate IFREMER’s research infrastructures across the relevant national and international funding agencies. Most of its activities are part of national and international collaborations (TGIR Flotte, ERIC Euro-Argo, Pôle de données océan, GDRs) that involve shared resources and joint administration.

Missions

Vessels and underwater vehicles

The department strives to propose, design, carry out and operate technological projects relating to the IFREMER fleet, on-board systems and underwater vehicles to meet scientific needs. It conducts R&D projects by identifying the key areas — robotics and acoustics in particular — that can contribute to the improvement of vessel and vehicle technology.

Euro-Argo, large research Infrastructure for ocean observation

The IMN Department coordinates the operational activities of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) Euro-Argo in France and in Europe. Its contribution consists in providing and deploying profiling floats that participate in the world ARGO effort of setting up more than 3000 active profiling floats across the globe.

Information systems and oceanographic databases

IMN teams develop and operate large information systems for IFREMER’s marine data for scientific needs and/or in response to current national and European directives (Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Water Framework Directive, INSPIRE, Data Collection Framework).

IFREMER — through its SISMER service — is the European leader for marine databases (SeaDataNet projects) and is one of the two global data assembly centres for ARGO data.

Computing services and telecommunications

IMN provides universal IT services for all IFREMER centres and sites. It constructs and operates the IT tools necessary for the management of IFREMER.

The French ARGO Data Centre

The French ARGO Data Centre (COA) is in charge of the general coordination of the ERIC Euro-Argo.

Vessels and On-board Systems research unit

The Vessels and On-board Systems (Navires et Systèmes Embarqués — NSE) research unit is a targeted research unit whose activities focus on developments for IFREMER’s fleet of vessels: coastal and ocean-going ships and common on-board instruments.

IT and Marine Data Unit

The IT and Marine Data (Informatique et Données Marines — IDM) Unit is in charge of developing and managing the shared IT infrastructures at IFREMER and the oceanographic data centre to provide seamless, efficient service, adapted to the use and capacities of the Institute.

Underwater Systems unit

The Underwater Systems (Systèmes Sous-Marins — SM) unit is in charge of the development, engineering and monitoring of underwater operations, reconnaissance and surveillance systems and methods for exploratory or specific purposes.