SINTEF ACE (Testbed for Aquaculture Engineering) provides an arena where new aquaculture technologies are designed, developed, and tested in realistic conditions of fish farms along the coast of Trøndelag, Norway.


SINTEF ACE is a full-scale laboratory with facility users such as researchers and industry conducting research, practical experiments and tests. The testbed is open for research and equipment testing to all parties. The research and experimental focus are mainly on technology for operation activities as well as surveillance of equipment and environment. This is based on an interdisciplinary expertise in biology-technology interaction. Researchers include biologists working with fouling experiments alongside cyberneticists with autonomous vehicles.

The testbed provides a wide range of equipment. SINTEF ACE administers a research vessel that can be used for transport to the sites as well as a mobile research platform, research ROVs, oceanographic buoys, oceanographic equipment to monitor the environment of the sites and cages, sonar systems to monitor the biomass as well as structural sensors that can measure the forces on the cages.

Photo: SINTEF ACE (credit: Magnus Oshaug Pedersen, SINTEF Ocean)

The research is made possible through a research aquaculture license, that allows the laboratory to farm fish commercially. A commercial fish farming company is operating the sites and SINTEF ACE has well established routines, procedures as well as technical equipment and infrastructure for carrying out research and testing. The license is spread over four sites that covers all smolt releases, and fish in different size categories is always available. In addition, the sites cover different environmental conditions such as fjords and exposed locations.

The current focus is designing field-cabinets for easy integration with new sensors and equipment and designing an infrastructure that ensures stable communication lines both locally at the sites and to the cloud. Research is also ongoing on how to integrate data from sensors with metadata and ontologies to create richer datasets. Moreover, SINTEF ACE is working on software solutions to present the data from field trials both online and in a new control room in the main offices in Trondheim.

Finn Olav Bjørnson
+47 97 72 64 90


SINTEF ACE – website

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