Toulouse. Mahmoud El Hajj, deputy director at Noveltis: “We are the first in the world to foresee the rogue waves”

the essential
The Toulouse-based company Noveltis is launching enovOcean, an information e-platform that anticipates the state of the sea and prevents the main risks: strong winds, rogue waves, 3D currents, ice, etc.

22 years ago, Richard Bru, doctor of physical sciences, created Noveltis in Toulouse, a company specializing in prediction. Today, it has 40 engineers and doctors in space, oceanography, renewable energies, big data and even artificial intelligence. After years of research and development, the company launched the enovOcean information e-platform. In addition to the classic marine weather forecast (winds, waves, currents) free of charge, this tool offers professionals several risk indicators that are unique in the world, including rogue waves. Details with Mahmoud El Hajj, Deputy Director General.

What is a rogue wave?

Unlike a tsunami, you don’t see rogue waves coming. They come from an accumulation of energy and arise like that! They can occur in any sea on the planet, and even if it is not raging. A rogue wave can be small and very energetic, or up to 30 meters high. The risk is to break the structures. Last year we saw cruise ships hit by rogue waves. The important thing is to be able to predict these waves at fine scales. We have also implemented indicators that adapt to users’ needs. We can predict if the wave will be 8 meters or 14 for example. The notion of vulnerability is linked to the size of the structure, whether for a boat or an offshore element (platform, wind turbine, etc. Editor’s note).

How did you come to create this forecasting model?

We have studied all the crashes related to rogue waves over the past 40 years. For each one, the wind, the waves, the currents, all the environmental conditions were analyzed. We understood the physical phenomenon and we modeled it mathematically.

It is very difficult to predict a risk parameter …

Noveltis is not a data aggregator but a model maker. We have the ability to predict risks reliably and accurately. It’s tricky because you have to deliver reliable information to help decision-making. Our models have been tested during navigation campaigns conducted by recognized players such as the French Navy. Our forecasts are scientifically and operationally validated by seafarers.

When it comes to forecasting, all indicators (waves, winds), Noveltis offers resolutions never before seen.

Maritime energies

The platform is not only intended for mariners and carriers … Marine energy specialists can also find information there. “At specific points in the world, explains Hubert Lafont, Marketing Director of Noveltis, they can know the depth of the water, the power in kW / m2 of the currents, the speed of the currents, the frequency of occurrence, etc. essential elements to determine the potential of a site. We are the only ones to do that, on the whole of the globe, and with this finesse “. Using this data, underwater turbine operators can identify suitable sites where to install equipment to produce energy, but not only. This data can help them design the type of turbine to install.