Integrated Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing for Real-Time Monitoring of OWT Gearbox and Tower Operation and Marine Animal Activities

Leveraging fiber optical sensing for real-time monitoring of offshore wind deployments.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The project team has completed most of the experiments, including loading and shaking tests, gearbox tests and marine mammal monitoring in the ocean. The team has one final field experiment on an operating gearbox in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The Issue

Monitoring systems for offshore wind turbines can play an important role in anticipating and rectifying operational and maintenance issues such as gearbox failures and in conducting environmental monitoring and implementing mitigation measures. There is a lack of advanced technologies that are capable of real-time operation and marine animal activity monitoring for offshore wind developments.

Project Innovation

This project aims to develop a fiber optic sensing system for real-time monitoring of offshore wind turbines. This approach will provides critical data to allow (1) real time monitoring of OWT operational conditions and diagnostic signal of potential malfunctions to allow effective operation management that can significantly reduce O&M costs, and (2) real time monitoring of dynamic marine mammal activities near OWTs to better understand potential impacts of OWT developments on marine life.

Project Benefits

The potential contribution from offshore wind energy to the renewable energy portfolio of California is key to achieve the 100% clean energy goals established in Senate Bill 100. Among the key challenges to floating offshore wind energy development is the high operation and maintenance cost. This project will lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome barriers to the achievement of the State of California's statutory energy goals by enabling real time OWT gearbox and tower operation and marine animal activities monitoring, which can lead to reduced O&M cost, reduced LCOE, greater OWT reliability and safety, and enhanced environmental sustainability.

Lower Costs


The development of this novel sensing technology can lead to a reduced LCOE by improving operational and environmental monitoring strategies in an offshore wind farm that reduce the O&M costs.

Greater Reliability


Use of a fiber optic sensing system in offshore wind applications will increase electricity reliability and increased safety by providing real time monitoring to track operation status, and diagnose gearbox pre-failure.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Yuxin Wu

Project Member



Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Berkeley campus


Match Partners


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


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