Robotics & Autonomous Systems

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes identifying the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry. Solving these challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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Innovation Challenges

Wind measurement beyond the wind turbine


Wind measurement beyond the wind turbine to enable accurate turbulence definition and the correlation between wind speed and power output.

During commissioning and the operational phase of wind farms, when a power curve performance test is conducted or the relevant contractual schedule for this negotiated, a key filtering parameter for the validity of the test is Turbulence measurements. For new, offshore, wind farms fixed masts are no longer being erected and the industry is moving towards nacelle anemometers for performance investigations and power performance tests.

Nacelle mounted LiDAR solutions have been well verified for the purposes of defining a wind speed and direction, however it is known that a nacelle LiDAR’s measure of the turbulence intensity of the incoming wind is intrinsically different to that used in design standards. Although there is literature on using nacelle mounted LiDAR’s for turbulence definition, there is still work to be done to  bridge the gap between applying this method to the industry standards and processes based on historic point turbulence measurements.

RRP is seeking a solution that will enable the alignment of the methods and procedures for power performance testing/ turbulence definition from remote sensing technologies and the design standards used in the definition of a power curve. This solution may be based on current available technology with a new  proven approach or based upon a new technological solution.

Forward facing LiDAR is one current method, however RRPL is open to other proposed techniques.

We anticipate innovations to come from some of the following areas:

  • Robotics and mechatronics
  • Drones
  • Data analytics
  • Internet of Things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Existing O&M service providers with new ideas
  • Collaborations between service and technology providers

To meet the desired timescale and risks, it is preferred that the proposed solution, or the key part(s) of the solution, have been commercially proven in other sectors or within a test program which includes offshore conditions (for both installation and operation) trials.


Functional Requirements 

  • The solution will be deployable on a typical offshore wind turbine structure
  • During measurements the proposed solution will also be able to accurately define the other main wind characteristics, including mean wind speed, direction and shear profile.

Technical Characteristics 

  • The proposed solution will, where possible adhere to the guidance set out in IEC 61400-12 and 61400-50-x
  • The solution will be readily deployable to current deployed turbine technology as well as future state of the art turbine sizes

Operating Conditions   

  • The device must be capable of working in offshore conditions with full weatherproofing, where off-the-shelf consumer electronics do not tend to withstand the harsh offshore conditions.
  • Solutions must be able to be operated safely and reliably in offshore conditions of:
    • Up to 12m/s wind speeds
    • 1-2m wave heights
    • Ambient temperatures of -10C to +40C
  • Dirty and dusty environments
  • It shall be designed for minimal servicing.


  • Launch of the Competition: 22nd October 2019
  • Deadline for applications: 13th December 2019
  • Selection and notification of finalists: 6th January 2020
  • Launch Academy begins in February 2020
  • Solutions should be:
    • Fully deployable for prototype testing within 6 months of competition win.
  • Full commercial deployment within 1 year (there are operational sites that a solution could start work on immediately if the system is already commercially available).


Market opportunity  

  • Any solution which achieves the requirements could be become industry best practice and therefore could be adopted across the industry by wind farm operators and WTG OEMs. This offers a significant market opportunity for the winning company.


Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base
  • The technology should be a minimum of TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 4+


Applications will be assessed on:

  • Relevance to the topic
  • Innovative nature of the subject
  • Coherence of the proposed business model
  • Feasibility/ economic viability
  • Development potential
  • Maturity of project/solution
  • Ability to launch project quickly/Ease of implementation
  • Price/quality ratio
  • Suitability for the UK and European Market

IP and Potential Commercial Route

  • Existing background IP associated with a potential solution will remain with Solution Provider(s). Where any new IP generation is envisaged, it will be subject to the mutual IP agreement of the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Any commercial deployment of transferred solution or newly developed solution, through licensing, joint venture, partnership or direct investment, will be subject to the commercial agreement between the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Where necessary, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) may be signed to uphold confidentiality in the engagement between the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • ORE Catapult do not take any share of IP ownership or enter into commercial venture through the Launch Academy programme.

Apply Now!

If you think your technology is up to the challenge, apply now to join the Launch Academy.

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