Ligurian Sea testbed

Hosting Institutions:

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France

Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), France


The Liguria-Nice-Monaco infrastructure is composed of two main parts: (1) a decommissioned and unrepeated fiber optic telecom cable that connects Monaco to Savona in Italy over a distance of 155 km; (2) an EMSO coastal cabled observatory located 0.8km offshore Nice airport providing real-time access to broadband seismometer data along with seabed pore pressure and temperature data recorded by two piezometers. The infrastructure aims at monitoring offshore earthquakes, site amplification and the factors underlying the development of submarine landslides and tsunamis.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:

The infrastructure offers the following services for TA:

  1. Access to a DAS service for testing and benchmarking the system with the possibility of setting different acquisition layouts. Scientists at the Ligurian testbeds will have a unique opportunity to perform new experiments at the seafloor while exploring the potential of DAS systems over a very long cable, fostering cross-disciplinary science, especially connecting solid earth science and oceanography. Data from the cabled observatory and down sampled time series from the DAS experiments will be made available through VAs in WP2;
  2. Connection of an instrument to the EMSO coastal cabled observatory offshore Nice Airport, ensuring its power supply (15 or 48 VDC up to 75W) and the real-time access to data through serial or Ethernet communication protocols.

Modality of access:

The unit of the physical access to this facility’s TA services is “1 week”. For (1) the access can occur either physically or remotely, with a maximum number of 16 accesses/ 8 physical accesses will be provided, with the typical access durations being between 1 and 4 weeks; (2) the physical access will consist of one week of bench testing in Brest before marine deployment over up to a year.


In the case of DAS experiments, the support offered will include personal training on the use of the DAS system, preparation of the data, and access to the servers for data recovery. For the deployment at the cabled observatory, bench testing of the instrument and user training will be undertaken at the IFREMER Campus in Brest; the connection of the user’s instrument to an underwater junction box will be performed by divers in Nice with the user also present. Recovery of the instrument will be undertaken by IFREMER, ideally when it is performing routine maintenance in the area (generally annually).