Enduruns project

Enduruns project

Enduruns projet

The ENDURUNS project brings together 15 different European partners and an associated member from South Korea. The goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate a long endurance hybrid AUV (Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle) with gliding capabilities.

This hybrid AUV will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and cooperate with an USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) to accomplish different missions: seabed mapping, geophysical studies, fish stock assessment, inspection of Underwater structures. The project is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

COMEX is developing a mechanical docking mechanism allowing the AUV to dock to an USV and a virtual based system to assist in the docking process

Our planet is covered two-third by oceans and yet only an equivalent of 15% of the oceans’ total area has been explored to some extent. This represents a vast part of unexplored and uncharted natural resources available. During the 6th June 2017 United Nations Conference, the “Seabed 2030” initiative was launched by the General Bathymetric Charts of Oceans (GEBCO) operating under the guidance of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (ICO) of UNESCO. The goal of the “Seabed 2030” initiative is to promote international collaboration for facilitating the complete mapping of the ocean floor in 2030.

Mapping of the oceans and evaluating their resources is of great importance to global economy and societal security. It provides direct information on available quantities of resources for long-term sustainable exploitation, reliable climate change models, sustainable maritime food production chain stability, new offshore energy and mining resources, quality and status of sea habitats, potential new advanced biomedicine sources, etc.

The strong capability of identifying existing and future critical offshore infrastructure and the accurate mapping of the ocean seabed is of strategic importance to European Member States, maritime activities, policymaking, upholding the blue growth agenda and accurately assessing the state of European sets and International Waters as defined in the EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). EMODnet is a central EU portal for the marine data and contains the existing seabed and bathymetric data acquired predominantly by carrying out bathymetry sonar measurements and multi-beam echo sounder with the help of surface vessels.

So, to achieve the objectives of the “Seabed 2030” initiative, several advancements are needed in areas like Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) design, powering, and control technology, launch and recovery methods, as well as associated communication and geotagging techniques, seabed mapping and infrastructure inspection sensing, etc.

The ENDURUNS project aims to develop a hybrid AUV glider powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology. The application of high energy density H2 as fuel in combination with the gliding capabilities of the vehicle and the support of a USV for battery recharging and data exchange will permit extended operation at sea up to several months, enabling multiple missions to be carried out even with a single launch sequence. ENDURUNS will be able to perform high-resolution seabed mapping within the 100m target specified by the “Seabed 2030” initiative as well as detailed inspection of offshore infrastructure which may require even higher levels of resolution. The sensor payload will be adaptable to the specific requirements of each mission thanks to the modularity and compatibility offered by the ENDURUNS AUV architectural design. Surveying capabilities will permit the use of the ENDURUNS system for geophysical studies, fish stock assessment, surveillance, mineral resources, offshore infrastructure structural evaluation and so on. An USV will be used in conjunction with the AUV. The USV will be capable of connecting with the AUV when required and return to port as a single unit.

The ENDURUNS consortium brings together every stakeholder associated with the relevant value chain, including specification of end-user requirements (CNR-ISMAR, COMEX, KPA), lto the implementation, testing, validation and commercialization of the AUV and USV modules (GRAALTECH, COMEX, TUCO, ALTUS, CNR-ISMAR, UOB), power train research, development and commercialization (HYSYTECH, Z-GROUP, GRAALTECH, COMEX, UOB, NCSRD, UCLM), sensing capability (ON-AIR, SWISSAPP, UOB), communication technologies (SPACEAPPS, UOB), control and navigation (GRAALTECH, COMEX, ALTUS, UOB), advanced structural fiber-reinforced composite materials technology and finite element analysis (ESI, TUCO, UOB), advanced data handling and processing (ON-AIR, ESI, UCLM, UOB),  and widespread dissemination(METIS, CNR-ISMAR, COMEX, UCLM, UOB).

The performance of the ENDURUNS system will be evaluated in an actual relevant operational scenario. Integral parts of ENDURUNS are the LCA of the developed system and its subcomponents as well as the detailed market analysis and business opportunities on which the consortium will be supported by the stakeholders participating in the Advisory Group.



36, bd de l’Océan – CS 80143
13275 Marseille – Cedex 9 –

+33 4 91 29 75 11

The French company “Ship as a Service®” (SAAS) acquires the marine branch

The French company “Ship as a Service®” (SAAS) acquires the marine branch

The French company “Ship as a Service®” (SAAS) acquires the marine branch


The alliance with COMEX gives rise to a new structure immediately operational : “SAAS OFFSHORE”. Granted with broad skills, significant resources and a strengthened fleet, it offers as of now expertise and action capabilities on and under the sea, in line with the requirements of blue economy stakeholders, on the entire Atlantic and Channel coasts, in the Mediterranean and worldwide.

With this operation, SHIP AS A SERVICE®, well established in the sector of marine and subsea expertise missions, broadens its fields of action while developing its range of services. The company is now able to propose technical, economical and effective solutions for all types of operations at sea, supported by a highly experienced team using operational means, with a (sea)proven track record.

With the creation of SAAS OFFSHORE, the company based in Lorient (French Brittany) carries on with its quest for innovation over the big blue sea. Its Clients will be able to operate further, longer, deeper… and above all, faster at sea.

The outlooks of SAAS OFFSHORE are promising : not only is it granted with high-performance resources, but the whole COMEX MARINE team (engineers, technicians, surveyors, sailors and ROV pilots) has joined the new structure. Thanks to this reinforcement, the company will be able to carry out, independently, even more wreck search campaigns, subsea structures surveys, seabed mapping, deployment, inspection and maintenance of oceanographic sensors, sea trials support, UXO surveys, harbours and offshore structures inspections, etc.

The new structure builds on what has made COMEX MARINE and SHIP AS A SERVICE® so successful, i.e. offering missions and turnkey solutions designed and carried out by a single contractor with a strong operational culture, more results-driven than “vessel chartering”.

SHIP AS A SERVICE® technical means available for its Clients :

– JANUS2 et MINIBEX, 2 offshore vessels with dynamic positioning, fitted for survey campaigns and sea trials support. – 7 multipurpose and fast coastal workboats. – 7 ROVs able to dive up to 2700m. – Aerial drones. – A range of instruments including several sonars, magnetometer, acoustic cameras, subsea positioning (USBL) and tracking devices, sampling tools, sensors, echo-sounders. – Commercial diving equipment. – Capacities and skills to coordinate operations with maritime works companies. – 2 design offices in Lorient and Marseille. – 2 logistic bases in Lorient and Marseille.


Created at the end of 2016, SHIP AS A SERVICE® (a trademark of SerEnMar SAS) deploys a new way of operating at sea, based on the design and implementation of turnkey maritime operations, around the major challenges of the blue economy: marine environment survey, MRE deployment, R&D and sea trials. SHIP AS A SERVICE® operates for a variety of clients: Marine energy IPP – Defence companies – Port infrastructure managers – Shipyards – Navies – Government agencies – Design offices – Research organizations – Laboratories – Testing centres – State agencies… SHIP AS A SERVICE® is supported by the Région Bretagne, is member of the Cluster Maritime Français, of Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique, of Bretagne Pôle Naval, of Interprofession du Port, of Agence Francophone d’Hydrographie

About COMEX :

Founded in 1961 by Henri Germain Delauze (1929-2012), COMEX has become the world’s leading company for subsea engineering and technology as well as manned and robot intervention. Together with the development of offshore activities, COMEX carries out its own research programs on the various breathing gases used in deep diving. This research has led to spectacular breakthroughs in this field, including several world records. Today, COMEX is operating in the design, manufacture and maintenance of hyperbaric oxygen chambers as well as in scientific research, robotics, medical engineering and space engineering. After more than 50 years, the same passion is driving everyone in this remarkable industrial and technological history more than ever focused on the design, development and operation of innovative and high-performance systems intended for manned and robot interventions in extreme environments whether on land, at sea or in space.

Contact :           Geoffroy LUCAS – +33 (0)2 970 634 47 – g.lucas@serenmar.com


36, bd de l’Océan – CS 80143
13275 Marseille – Cedex 9 –

+33 4 91 29 75 11

Comex maritime expertise for neutrino research

Comex maritime expertise for neutrino research

Comex maritime expertise for neutrino research

What is a neutrino ?

Neutrinos are neutral elementary particles of virtually zero mass. They are produced during nuclear reactions generated by extremely violent cosmic cataclysms such as black holes, supernovae and the Big Bang.

Once produced, they move at a speed close to light speed. Because of their zero electric charge they move in a straight line without stopping, crossing the stars and planets as if they did not exist, all the way out to the borders of the Universe. The earth is crossed by trillions of neutrinos every nanosecond.

By their nature neutrinos are therefore extremely difficult to detect. Fortunately, on rare occasions, a high-energy neutrino collides with an atom. The collision disintegrates the atom nucleus and the neutrino transforms into another particle called muon.

The created muon continues its movement on a trajectory almost identical to that of the neutrino and can be identified thanks to the cone of blue light it generates, known as the Cerenkov radiation. In order to detect this tiny bit of light, it is necessary to use extremely sensitive detectors while operating under total darkness conditions.

Crédit photo : KM3NeT

Why and how to monitor neutrinos ?


Neutrinos contain information about the cataclysmic events that produced them. Scientists consider them as messengers.

The observation of high-energy neutrinos offers a new angle to look at the Universe.

A special kind of telescopes is used to detect and observe neutrinos. Since neutrinos almost hardly interact with matter and in order to be protected from cosmic radiation, such telescopes are usually buried underground in large liquid-filled caves.



ANTARES (Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss Environmental Research) : At the time of its design and erection, was the largest neutrino telescope in the northern hemisphere and the first built in a marine environment. In operation since 2006, it is installed deep down 2500 msw in the Mediterranean Sea, 40 kilometers offshore Toulon (France).

The main purpose of ANTARES is the search for cosmic neutrinos generated by violent phenomena of the Universe. It consists of 900 photomultipliers spread over 12 450 meter high lines, covering a surface of 0.1 km2.

The detected neutrinos are actually the few particles that collide with the matter in the vicinity of the detector, generating a muon that is detected by Cerenkov effect (blue light radiation). Unlike

optical telescopes, ANTARES looks downwards, across the Earth. The flow of particles crosses the Earth through the southern hemisphere and rises from the ocean floor up to the surface in the northern hemisphere.

KM3NeT (cubic Kilometer Neutrino Telescope) : Designed thanks to the feedback of the ANTARES detector, this second-generation telescope is being installed in the abyss of the Mediterranean sea.

A first detector, called ARCA (Astroparticle Research with Cosmics in the Abyss), installed offshore Sicily, is dedicated to the search for high-energy neutrinos coming from cataclysms in the Universe such as supernovae or the formation and evolution of black holes. A second detector, called ORCA (Oscillation Research with Cosmics in the Abyss), is under construction offshore Toulon. It will allow a determination of the mass hierarchy of neutrinos, precisely studying the flow of atmospheric neutrinos crossing the Earth.

These underwater infrastructures are also a subsea platform for multidisciplinary experimentation, hosting numerous studies in the fields of marine, terrestrial and environmental sciences as part of the EMSO seabed observatories..

This project is financed with the assistance of the PACA Region (Contract Plan State-Region), the French State (Regional Delegation to Research and Technology) and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund).

Comex maritime expertise for research


JANUS 2 surface support


General presentation

JANUS 2 is a 30-meter catamaran with dynamic positioning allowing our multidisciplinary team to use a large number of oceanographic and hydrographic equipment.

Mixed campaigns may be carried out, such as : 

  • Comprehensive geophysical measurements and data gathering : Side scan Sonar, magnetometer, multibeam sonar, sediment echosounder.
  • Geotechnical measures : CPT.
  • Environmental Studies : Biology, Sediments.
  • ROV Inspections: Visual GVI/CVI, debris survey, ORUS 3D metrology, 3D submillimetre modelling.
  • Underwater work Support down to 2500 msw.
  • Shallow manned diving support vessel

The ROVs, which are constantly mobilized onboard the vessel, allow a very good combined operation of measurement tools at all times. This facilitates underwater inspection campaigns, without involving third parties and avoiding potential additional intermediate mobilizations.
JANUS 2 can operate two ROVs simultaneously, namely the 1000 msw SUPER ACHILLE ROV and the 2500 msw APACHE ROV.
Using two azimutal thrusters and two bow thrusters, JANUS 2 Dynamic Positioning system (DP) allows to carry out two different types of operations.


JANUS 2 can track one or several mobile devices equipped with transponders : Manned submarine, ROVs, AUVs etc. either in constant heading or in automatic alignment of the vessel with the target.
sur la cible.


The DP system maintains the vessel in a fixed position relative to the bottom using either the DGPS system or an acoustic beacon positioned at a fixed location on the sea bottom (transponder).

APACHE ROV main features

JANUS 2 is equipped with an APACHE Subatlantic hardwired underwater observation and light work vehicle remotely operated from the surface down to 2500msw deep. The APACHE is connected to its garage called “TMS” (Tether Management System) by a 120m+ umbilical lead.

The TMS also plays the role of relay and distribution : it carries the necessary power conversion system and data multiplexing unit between the robot and the surface.The TMS is mechanically attached to a 3000m power and optical fibre cable operated by means of a dedicated drum with multicore slipring at surface level.

The APACHE/TMS pair offers a robust and safe inspection solution throughout the water column, operated either in close vicinity of complex structures as well as in continuous systematic survey inspection up to 0.8 kts navigation speed, using the DP Navigation autofollow link.

Our APACHE ROV is compact, lightweight and very agile in manoeuvring. Specific equipment and tools can be installed on request (extra electrical and hydraulic power supply available.) he APACHE can be considered as a multi-instrumented platform able to meet the specific needs of missions such as: Underwater works assistance and support, photogrammetry/submillimetre 3D metrology, debris survey, CVI/GVI, TSS, SSS/SBP etc.

Main Features :

Dimensions H x W x W (mm): 820 x 900 x 700
Weight in Air/ Water (kg): 140/ Neutral
Power (kVA): 7.6 kVA/ 440 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 3 phases + neutral
Maximum operating depth (msw): 2800
Maximum operating depth (msw): 2800
Length of electric cable (msw): 2700

Propulsion :

4 thrusters
Longitudinal thrusters FW (kg): 50 / RV (kg): 40
1 Lateral thruster (kg): 30
1 vertical thruster (kg): 30

Payload (kg) : 30

Communication : FO single mode

Sensors and accessories :

1 KONGSBERG colour camera with tilting support
1 BOWTECH wide angle camera
1 BOWTECH mini camera
1 HD Camera
4 DEEPSEA POWER&LIGHT 250 W projectors
1 TRITECH Panoramic Seaprince 675 kHz sonar
1 PA500 altimeter
1 pressure sensor
1 Hydraulic Skid with 2 HYDROLEK 5-axis manipulators.
1 jetting pump
1 fluxgate gyroscope
1 ISA 500 Inertial Movement Unit MRU+altimeter (optional)(optionnel)

Automatic modes :

• Auto Heading
• Auto Altitude

At the ANTARES site

In 2012, Comex Marine Department joined the project and carried out the connection of a line of photosensitive sensors using the ROV APACHE at -2500 msw depth.

This was the first connection operation at -2500 msw carried out by means of an observation class ROV.
To meet the ANTARES work specifications, modifications had to be made to the ROV (addition of two hydraulic arms, three video channels, one optical connector cleaning system).

COMEX and the CNRS – CPPM have worked together to produce an adapted tool which was developed at the CPPM as part of the MEUST NUMerEnv KM3NeT project. 

MEUST NUMerEnv Line base Design – 2500 m


Following the ANTARES programme, the Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CPPM, AMU-CNRS/IN2P3) launched the MEUST NUMerEnv/ KM3NeT programme.

In 2014, as part of this project, COMEX was commissioned to design the supporting platform for the photomultiplier line. This bracket was deployed at a depth of -2500 msw in order to keep the line in position, ensure its stability and allow the underwater connection through a connecting cable to the junction box.
This platform supports the “Wet matable” connection system developed at the CPPM

In collaboration with the Foselev Marine CASTOR 2 support vessel, COMEX participated in the deployment and connection of the first KM3NeT/ORCA line as well as in the implementation of an instrumented module for environmental purposes.

The conditioned line was lowered from CASTOR 2 over a 2500 msw deep seabed. Operated from JANUS 2, the COMEX APACHE ROV witnessed the positioning of the line at 25 meter distance of the Node at the depth of 2500 msw. It then unrolled the connecting cable and connected the ODI electro-optical connectors to the main onshore-connected node. The compacted line was finally released by the ROV. 

Crédit photo : CNRS Image
Crédit photo : IFREMER
Crédit phot : CPPM
Crédit photo : km3NeT

System Architecture


The architecture of the system as designed by COMEX is the result of the feedback and know-how acquired in recent years as part of its work carried out on behalf of the CPPM (Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille) at ANTARES and NUMerEnv/ KM3NeTt offshore installations.

The infrastructure consists of 5 “nodes” distributed around the detector. Each node has a junction box connected to 2 lines (6 groups of 4 lines). The lines are spaced 20 m apart in the dense configuration (ORCA), thus requiring high precision in laying and connection operations. Lines are interconnected and connected to the junction box via an ODI type wet matable connector.

Consequently, once the Line base is laid on the bottom, the ROV recovers the connector with the connection cable wrapped onto the structure, unfolds the cable, takes the connector to the junction box and connects it using the specific tooling developed by the CPPM.

In agreement with the CPPM, COMEX wishes to keep this architecture based on a comprehensive field feedback, in order to meet the requirements of this contract and to ensure optimal maintainability of the subsea site while limiting operational costs.




These two installations were erected at a depth of 2500 msw. After nearly 20 years of operation, ANTARES is still operational and the renewed technical choices on the NUMerEnv/ KM3NeT project have benefited from the whole of this operational feedback.

Accordingly, and referring to these multiple references and experiences, COMEX demonstrates its ability to manage maintenance projects under operational conditions for facilities such as TREMAIL(hydrophone network).

COMEX as shown a marine engineering capability for the mechanical design of structures supporting hydrophones (DGA – TMF) or lines of photosensitive sensors (MEUST NUMerEnv). Its Design Department generated the necessary tools for each operation and drafted their detailed implementation procedures.

Based on its experience and feedback gained in projects similar to the one covered by this type of operations, COMEX acquired the ability to design a system architecture that meets the needs of DGA by specifying the different sub-assemblies, managing the supply, integration, implementation of interfaces and installation at subsea site.

Through its participation in sensitive Defense activities such as the design, construction, supply and installation of a high-speed visualization system for integration on the nuclear submarines launching devices of the French Marine Nationale in 2015, COMEX has demonstrated its capacity to cope with high quality standards and to address the requirements specific to such projects.

Similarly, COMEX organization showed its ability to meet the demanding requirements of secrecy and confidentiality.


36, bd de l’Océan – CS 80143
13275 Marseille – Cedex 9 –

+33 4 91 29 75 11

The French company “Ship as a Service®” (SAAS) acquires the marine branch

The alliance with COMEX gives rise to a new structure immediately operational : “SAAS OFFSHORE”

Comex partner of hyperbaric medicine

Comex designs, manufactures and integrates hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers for hyperbaric medicine for more than 40 years. She accompanies her clients in an ongoing process for the development of their facilities Our hyperbaric oxygen therapy facilities are present...

The hyperbaric chamber of the CHU of reunion in full light

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Parc National des Calanques : Monitoring of red coral populations

Parc National des Calanques : Monitoring of red coral populations

Parc National des Calanques : Monitoring of red coral populations

Monitoring of red coral (Corallium rubrum) populations in Parc National des Calanques (Marseille), five years after the initial inspection.
Observations beyond 50 m depth south of the island of Riou and in the Cassidaigne Canyon, from the ROV APACHE and the very high definition underwater photogrammetry system ORUS 3D

Within the scope of the monitoring of red coral (Corallium rubrum) populations in the Parc National des Calanques (off Marseille), the Marine and Innovation Departments of COMEX SA carried out underwater surveys beyond 50 meter depth, using an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) equipped with video and still cameras together with a photogrammetric system, ORUS 3D, developed and operated by COMEX Innovation. Operations at sea were carried out on February 5 and 6, 2019 using JANUS II, COMEX catamaran DP support vessel.

The purpose of the mission was to come back five years after the initial inspection at locations where populations of red coral are growing, close to RIOU Island and in the CASSIDAIGNE submarine canyon featuring uneasy access to divers, in order to conduct quantitative and qualitative evaluations using an ROV. Operation of ORUS 3D results in millimetric accuracy measurements of coral colonies. Such datas are nearly impossible to collect using ordinary stills camera or /and laser pointers. This innovative technology provides scientists with new biometric data of deep red coral populations.

Rov Apache et sytème ORUS 3D de la Comex

ORUS 3D photogrammetry system mounted on the Comex ROV Apache

ORUS 3D is an optical system that may be interfaced with all types of submarine vehicles. Based on the photogrammetry technology, the system features three very high trifocal resolution sensors synchronized with and operated from a surface control unit located onboard the support vessel. Led lighting flashes provide an optimal lighting of the scenery. A contact free and non-intrusive measurement tool, the system provides a 3D high resolution modeling of substructures and seascapes, reaching submillimetric details and millimetric accuracy.

ORUS 3D very high definition photogrammetry system

3D modeling of acquisitions

3D model of a rock at 70 m depth, sheltering red coral

Selected inspection areas feature the south, south-east side of RIOU Island and the north-east and north-west heads of the CASSIDAIGNE Canyon. The southern part off RIOU Island had been surveyed back in 2013 as initial inspection site. These sites feature rock blocks positioned between 50 msw and 70 msw. CASSIDAIGNE north western head is a renown site, already surveyed by COMEX during scientific campaigns : HERMES (2009) for the german MARUM laboratory ; MEDSEACAN (2009) and “Grottes et Canyons 3D”- Underwater 3D Caves and Canyons – (2014)for the French Agence des Aires Marines Protégées (AAMP) – now Agence Française pour la Biodiversité. The inspected sites range from 200 msw down to 250 msw. Ultimately, the CASSIDAIGNE north-eastern zone was a brand new site, never explored yet. It turned out to be very rich in red coral colonies.

Using COMEX sophisticated logistics in terms of positionning, sites that had been previously inspected were easily relocated. Moreover, with the help of bathymetric datas and the use of the Apache ROV Sonar, a new red coral spot has been discovered at 240 msw in the CASSIDAIGNE north-eastern zone. Last but not least, 3D modeling datas are now being processed. They will soon prove to be a superb tool that will optimize our knowledge of the deep red coral populations.


ORUS 3D Presentation



36, bd de l’Océan – CS 80143
13275 Marseille – Cedex 9 –

+33 4 91 29 75 11

The French company “Ship as a Service®” (SAAS) acquires the marine branch

The alliance with COMEX gives rise to a new structure immediately operational : “SAAS OFFSHORE”

Comex partner of hyperbaric medicine

Comex designs, manufactures and integrates hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers for hyperbaric medicine for more than 40 years. She accompanies her clients in an ongoing process for the development of their facilities Our hyperbaric oxygen therapy facilities are present...

The hyperbaric chamber of the CHU of reunion in full light

[and _pb_text background_layout = "dark" text_orientation = "Center" admin_label = "text" text_text_color = "#ffffff" use_border_color = "off" border_style = "solid" disabled = "off"] • Modernised by the collaboration of the teams of the Engineering Department and the...