Building a Metrology framework for ocean observation



Florence Salvetat

Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer)


Francesca Rolle

Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRiM)


Paola Picco

Italian Hydrographic Institute


George Petihakis

Hellenic Centre For Marine Research (HCMR)


Jukka Seppälä

Marine Research Centre of Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)


Rajesh Nair

Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS)


The reliability and long-term usability of data coming from ocean observing systems are keys to formulating evidence-based environmental policies. This data reliability requires building a strong and sustainable metrological framework, at least at the European scale, creating bridges between the principal communities involved, namely, the oceanographic research institutes, the national metrological institutions, the industry and society.

This special session aims to illustrate through examples of initiatives, or projects, the groundwork for creating these necessary synergies between communities to reach common required goals for the quality of measurements.


Themes of the session include all initiatives linked with (but should not be considered limited to):

  • Metrological traceability and uncertainty evaluation for observations of essential ocean variables (EOVs) and essential climate variables (ECVs);
  • Measurement challenges and metrological contribution to in situ measurements;
  • Metrology for marine observing infrastructure;
  • Observation systems to support air-sea interactions studies;
  • Quality assurance and harmonisation of data;
  • Intercomparisons programmes/exercises;
  • Assessment of metrological needs for remote sensing for marine and coastal monitoring;
  • Building the synergies, networking and organisational aspects, also linking with industry.


Florence Salvetat is the head of the Metrology Laboratory of Ifremer (France).
She has been managing this ISO 17025 accredited metrology laboratory dedicated to oceanographic parameters (temperature, pressure, conductivity,dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and fluorescence) for more than 20 years.
She is deeply involved in research and development projects and collaborations to improve traceability and uncertainty estimation for oceanographic parameters like salinity and pHT.
Her current project collaborations with oceanographic and national metrology institutes: SAPHTIES (EMPIR), JERICO-S3, NAUTILOS, MINKE (H2020).

Francesca Rolle is a chemist and holds a PhD in “Metrology: Measuring Science and Technique”, from Politecnico of Torino, Italy. She is a researcher at the Italian Metrology Institute “Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica” (INRIM).
She carries out research activities in the field of metrology in chemistry, in particular concerning environmental pollution, within the INRIM Scientific Division “Applied Metrology and Engineering”. Her main activities are the development of analytical methods for the quantification of gaseous atmospheric pollutants and organic micropollutants in real matrices, the establishment of correct traceability chains and the uncertainty evaluation.

Paola Picco is Professor of Physical Oceanography at the Italian Hydrographic Institute. Main interest and research activity include air-sea interaction and marine observing systems.

George Petihakis (BSc, MSc, PhD) is research director at HCMR/Institute of Oceanography with over 25 years of experience in marine science with particular emphasis on marine ecological modelling, operational monitoring, and data analysis. Chair of the Executive Management Board of EuroGOOS AISBL, member of the OceanSITES steering team, member of the JPI management board, member of the European Marine Board management board and advisor of the EMSO ERIC Assembly of Members (AoM). PI and coordinator in more than 35 EU and national programs.

Jukka Seppälä, PhD, head of the Marine Ecology Research Laboratory Unit, in Marine Research Centre of Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, is a specialist in bio-optical methods and instrumentation. He is responsible for SYKE automated continuous measurements in ferrybox and fixed platforms in the Baltic Sea. His group is coordinating the Finnish Marine Research Infrastructure consortium FINMARI. He is currently involved in several EU projects e.g. JERICO-S3, JERICO-DS, AQUACOSM-plus, NAUTILOS and MINKE.

Rajesh Nair has more than 30 years of experience in Oceanography and the Marine Sciences, with a strong experimental background, extensive field skills and “hands-on” knowledge of a wide variety of marine instrumentation. As part of the permanent staff of the Centro di Taratura e Metrologia Oceanografica (CTMO), the oceanographic calibration and metrology laboratory of the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics) - OGS (Italy) which he helped set up in 2002, his present activities and interests focus on marine observing technologies, including calibration, control and testing of instrumentation, and the application of metrological principles to measurement quality assurance both in the laboratory and in the field. Mr. Nair is actively involved in marine research at both the national and EU levels, and internationally.

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