Capteurs autonomes de substances chimiques dans le sous-sol des infrastructures pétrolières System for monitoring sub-surface pollution risks in oil industry infrastructures using passive sensors

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Société de l’information et de la communication, Axe 8 - PRCE

Capteurs autonomes de substances chimiques dans le sous-sol des infrastructures pétrolières

System for monitoring sub-surface pollution risks in oil industry infrastructures using passive sensors.
Table of contents

I.Proposal’s context, positioning and objective(s) 2

I.1.Objectives and scientific hypotheses 2

I.2.Originality and relevance in relation to the state of the art 5

I.3.Risk management and methodology 6

II.Project organisation and means implemented 7

II.1.Scientific coordinator 7

II.2.Consortium 8

II.3.Means of achieving the objectives 9

III.Impact and benefits of the project 19

Project summary

The project aims at meeting environmental challenges related to land restoration following its use by oil industry infrastructures by providing the means for long term monitoring of organic pollutants in the subsurface by deploying passive (no local energy source next to the sensing element) wireless sensors probed from the surface. The cooperative target whose signature is acquired from the surface using a classical geophysical tool – a Ground Penetrating RADAR – is designed around the conversion of the incoming electromagnetic field to an acoustic wave by patterning electrodes on a piezoelectric substrate. Such an acoustic transducer provides the chemical sensitivity by exhibiting a dependence of the acoustic velocity with mass loading, measured as a variation of the echo delay – with a differential measurement between functionalized and non-functionalized acoustic paths for getting rid of the RADAR to sensor distance and acoustic velocity temperature dependence. The selectivity is provided by the dedicated thin film designed for sensing a given set of compounds, inspired from well known bulk chemical reaction schemes transferred to cleanroom compatible (photo)resist. Finally, deployment of the sensor in a relevant environment requires a strong packaging yet allowing the sensing area to be in contact with the fluid containing the compound under investigation, in addition to an antenna designed to radiate efficiently towards the surface. Meeting all these challenges will allow for the deployment of the sensors on relevant sites, following their calibration and assessment of the detection limit.

Summary table of persons involved in the project:



First name


Involvement (person.month)*

Role & responsibilities in the project (4 lines max)






Scientific coordinator. Systems integration






Organic synthesis and polymer science






Cleanroom technology






Cleanroom technology






Characterizations of polymers












Cleanroom technologies


To be hired



Polymer synthesis and cleanroom technologies


To be hired

PhD student


Development of radar






Coordinator for SENSeOR. Business plan.












Modelling and packaging












Antenna design






Coordinator for TOTAL. HSE






Analysis & measurement






Instrumentation, Control and Safety Systems

* indicate the amount throughout the project's total duration
Any change that have been made in the full proposal compared to the pre-proposal


  1. Proposal’s context, positioning and objective(s)

    1. Objectives and scientific hypotheses

The UNDERGROUND project aims at developing a system for monitoring the sub-surface pollution risks in industrial sites. This system will be designed around a Ground Penetrating RADAR (GPR) as an interrogation unit for wirelessly probing, through a radiofrequency link, a dedicated sensor to detect two kinds of pollutants in the sub-ppm range. The first analyte will be hydrogen sulfide (H2S), in an aqueous environment or water saturated atmosphere. The second class of pollutant will be hydrocarbon compounds (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes – BTEX – and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons – PAHs). H2S has been identified as a signature of pipeline leak and its detection in air has been investigated in past collaborative research activities between the three partners of UNDERGROUND. BTEX and PAHs have been identified as main source of sub-surface pollutants in industrial environments, especially related to the oil industry. The sensors will be developed to meet the requirements of sub-surface sensing: once installed, the sensors are no longer accessible for maintenance or battery replacement. A core design strategy relies on designing irreversible chemical reactions in the sensing layer in order to provide a non-reversible, cumulative sensor providing the integrated concentration of the pollutant between two measurements by the RADAR operator. This approach can be considered as a means of instrumenting integrating ceramic dosimeters currently analyzed in laboratories to address oil pollutions issues.1 It is assumed that once the sensor is buried, it will not be recovered or recycled: the cost of pollution handling is assumed to make the sensor cost negligible so it can be considered as a consumable. Concerning the interrogation unit, the emitter transfer function must match the sensor transfer function and the receiver has to exhibit a better stability than the sensor variation during measurements. The interrogation range is expected to be in the decimeter to a few meter range, depending on the soil conductivity properties. Such a solution will allow long term monitoring of pollution risks in hardly accessible sub-surface environments such as pipelines, tanks and soil.
Our objective is to provide a complete system based on a GPR operated from the surface controlled by a dedicated software for extracting the sensor signature and hence the chemical compound concentration. A transducer acting as passive cooperative target to the GPR will be developed and the associated sensitive layer compatible with the transducer to detect the compounds under investigation.

The measurement strategy implemented in this project is based on the use of the well-known GPR, a well-established sub-surface measurement technique for observing sub-surface interfaces, voids or leakages leakages associated with electrical conductivity variations2. The field of cooperative target designed for GPR interrogation was briefly addressed by Allen & al3, but was never widely deployed due to inadequate sensor technology. Recently, this idea was revived in the context of acoustic transducers, and multiple demonstrations have led to a mature technology worth deploying in practical environments. Based on these background ideas, some limitations of current approaches have emerged, from the sensor and interrogation unit points of view. The objectives of UNDERGROUND are to circumvent these limitations. From the interrogation unit point of view, the limitation is the poor stability of the GPR time base preventing the fine measurement of the target returned signal (i. e. echo) phase. The phase of the echo returned by the sensor includes two components: the time of flight from the GPR to the target, and the time of flight of the pulse on the sensor surface, whose velocity is related to the analyte concentration. Using a differential measurement technique in which two echoes are generated by the incoming electromagnetic pulse, the time of flight from the GPR to the sensor is canceled and the velocity of the acoustic wave is extracted, assuming the sampling rate of the GPR is known. Were this sampling rate to vary, we are no longer able to separate the acoustic velocity dependence with the quantity under investigation from the sampling rate variation. The GPR unit we have used for past measurement, provided by Mala AG, seems to generate a time reference using analog means with a stability appropriate for pulse envelope measurement as classically used by GPR operators, but with too poor stability for phase analysis. While the source of the analog delay generator drift is under investigation, modern digital delay synthesis techniques exhibit stabilities of the same order of magnitude than the quartz oscillator reference, or a few part per million (to be compared with the analog delay stability observed to be in the percent range). Hence, the second topic addressed in the proposal is the design of a GPR receiver unit specifically designed for sensor reading -- in addition to subsurface interface measurement which remains a core requirement for GPR users -- a development that will also profit users of time-reversal or interferometric techniques lacking the required stability in current commercial GPR units.

The use of a GPR needs a sensor acting as a cooperative target backscattering an incoming electromagnetic signal to return a signature representative (i) of the sensor, for differentiation with clutteri, and (ii) of the analyte concentration. While various cooperative target architectures have been proposed, including dielectric resonators or delay lines, acoustic transducers offer multiple unique properties making them ideally suited to the task. On the one hand converting the incoming electromagnetic signal to an acoustic signal, 105 times slower, shrinks the sensor dimensions for a given delay included to separate the sensor signal from clutter. On the other hand, the acoustic wave propagation velocity is dependent on such properties as temperature, stress or boundary conditions, which have to be assessed when designing acoustic sensors. Using a piezoelectric substrate for converting the electromagnetic wave to an acoustic wave, the sensor is compact and does not require a local energy source as power supply, achieving a passive transducer. The linear behavior of the piezoelectric effect means that a returned signal is always generated as a response to the incoming electromagnetic signal, with a measurement range defined by the ability of the receiver to separate the sensor signal from noise, based on the many signal processing techniques well known from RADAR-like measurements, removing the diode threshold voltage limitation met by silicon-based RFID (see state-of-the-art section).

From an acoustic perspective, current demonstrations have focused on highly coupled substrates propagating Rayleigh waves, poorly suited to chemical sensing in liquid environments due to the strong coupling of the wave with the fluid (pressure wave radiation). Shear wave propagation in quartz is well known in biosensing applications, but the low electromechanical coupling coefficient of quartz makes it poorly suited to a delay line configuration of cooperative target, while the resonator configuration is hardly applicable to the broadband pulsed mode GPR. Hence, the initial investigation will focus on designing highly coupled sensors propagating a shear wave, most probably based on lithium tantalate as suggested by F. Josse & al (in a wired configuration).

Having defined the transducer, the core innovation of the project stems from the design of chemical compounds designed for the dual purpose of spreading as thin film with low acoustic losses for guiding the shear acoustic wave over the piezoelectric substrate -- the so called Love-mode propagation in a slow guiding layer -- using processing techniques compatible with cleanroom manufacturing technologies (spin coating), and chemical sensing capability. While chemical sensing using acoustic transducers has often been limited to spreading existing molecules known to react with a compound under investigation on the surface of an existing guiding layer (silicon dioxide, PMMA or SU8 resists), detecting small molecules such as hydrogen sulfide requires the bulk of the guiding layer to react for the minute mass variation to be detected. Hence, self assembled monolayers, classically used in biosensing for detecting heavy macromolecules such as proteins or DNA, are hardly applicable to small molecule detection due to the lack of selectivity or the unfavorable mass ratio of the antibody with respect to the antigen (e.g. pesticide detection with two to three orders of magnitude between the antibody and antigen molar weight). We consider in our approach using well know dedicated measurement strategies, incorporate such reactive sites in the resists dedicated for cleanroom processing, and hence obtain the best of the two worlds: acoustic wave guiding and acoustic velocity dependence with the chemical compound under investigation.

Finally, deployment in a relevant sub-surface environment requires meeting two challenges: packaging and antenna. Packaging issues addressed to prevent degradation of the sensing layer by impacts of particles in the fluid in which the compound to be detected lies. The sensor must additionally be fitted with an antenna compatible with an insertion of the sensor from the surface, yet radiating towards the surface (a basic vertical dipole would exhibit a null radiation towards the surface: helical antennas appear as suitable candidates).

The final product should have the capabilities of detecting a range of hydrocarbons (wet or dry) in a specific soil (e.g. sand) locally and in a range of distance. Several tests in presence of hydrocarbons (e.g. condensate, light, crude, heavy crude, nafta, sand polluted with diesel at 100ppm / 2000 ppm), Super unleaded 95) will be considered. This project aims also to provide the radio / telecommunication architecture for providing in a range of distance the hydrocarbon presence information (from several meters to several kilo meters). The final product will be positioned in the market of existing hydrocarbons detection catalogue (e.g. oleo sensible cables, fiber optic cables)

    1. Originality and relevance in relation to the state of the art

Current pollution assessment and land restoration on industrial sites requires analyzing the soil4 quality after the industrial activity is completed. Alternative solutions include indirect leak detection through temperature variations or vibration induced by a leak in a pipeline – distributed detection by using optical fiber for temperature or stress measurement – or direct leaks by using hydrocarbon leak detection sense cables ( for an overview of one implementation). Damage assessment and cleaning might be costly, if not impossible at all, therefore sensor deployment might prevent widespread pollution before it occurs. Various regulations aim at defining acceptable pollutant levels for restoring land: while Europe does not have a homogeneous regulation applied by member countries, US states provide such regulation based on EPA recommendations5. Amongst the pollution sources6, heavy metals are one of the significant source (37%), this program and their industrial partners are mostly concerned with the next three major sources of pollution, namely mineral oil (34%), Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs, 6%) and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX, 6%). The wide discrepancy from country to country and site to site7 induces the need for quantitative assessment of pollution risks: as mentioned in the afore-cited document “Potentially polluting activities are estimated to have occurred at nearly 3 million sites and investigation is needed to establish whether remediation is required” in Europe only. Hence, we aim at providing the tool for assessing sub-surface soil pollution by contaminants related to the oil industry, in a strategy consistent with the EPA regulation requiring monitoring of sub-surface gasoline storage tanks in the USA8: passive subsurface chemical sensors interrogated from the surface through a wireless link.

Fig 1: 100 MHz lithium niobate delay line compatible with GPR interrogation, functionalized with a hydrogen sulfide detecting layer, and measurement example. The reaction with hydrogen sulfide is enhanced by water vapor.
Passive cooperative targets have been imagined since the end of the Second World War, with the founding paper9 using rotating corner reflectors illuminated by a RADAR to introduce a signature representative of identification or measurement capability. Sub-surface applications require that transducers are interrogated through a wireless link and that no energy source is located near the sensing element which is no longer accessible once installed. Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) using silicon based chips require significant incoming power to reach the diode threshold voltage needed to rectify the incoming voltage and are hardly applicable for interrogating transducers buried tens of centimeters to a few meters in soil (ELIOT10). Alternative to RFID, using dielectric resonators tuned to various interrogation frequencies yields the concept of ‘’chipless RFID’’11, where the substrate property variations yield potential sensing capability: this approach is used by OXEMS12. Our transducer is based on the well-known electromechanical conversion of the incoming electromagnetic pulse to an acoustic wave by patterning a piezoelectric substrate with electrodes. The acoustic wave propagating 105 times slower than the electromagnetic wave, the sensor dimensions shrink by the same factor, yielding millimeter-scale sensing elements (Fig.1, inset). Additionally, the dependence of the acoustic wave velocity with the transducer environment – temperature, stress – or boundary conditions for chemical compound detection, provides the sensing capability (Fig. 1).

Using acoustic transducers for chemical sensing following surface functionalization with a thin film reacting selectively with the compound to be detected is well known in the field of biosensing. Josse & al have applied the concept to BTEX detection, in a wired configuration though. Only very few investigations combine wireless sensing and chemical sensing13, and none addresses the topic of sub-surface chemical sensing using cooperative targets interrogated by GPR. Such GPR are well-accepted geophysical characterization instruments, they are hence widely available commercially. We own such an instrument – Malå ProEx – which is considered as the reference throughout this work. We have already developed custom software for controlling the GPR with functionalities dedicated to sensor probing ( Past investigations have indicated that the time base of this commercial unit exhibits insufficient stability to allow exploiting the returned echo phase information and finely measuring the delay between returned echoes.
The development of SAW transducers as GPR cooperative target has been self-funded by SENSeOR SAS since 2009, and has only become mature enough to be relevant to a grant request to Total through a CITEPH project a couple of years ago. This preliminary work demonstrated (as displayed in Fig. 1) the interrogation capability in addition to our ability to chemically functionalize a transducer with a layer sensitive to a given compound. Despite past encouraging results, some challenges still lie ahead:

* commercial GPR units exhibits excessive drift and are not suitable, out of the box, for fine phase analysis as needed for sensor measurement,

* packaging of the transducer is a core issue for its practical and long term deployment. While it is well known that packaging of sensors is always an issue, chemical sensing introduces a new challenge since the sensing area must be in contact with the surrounding medium, without being irreversibly damaged by dust or particle contamination. Our interest in measuring compounds in liquid phase adds to the packaging challenge.

    1. Risk management and methodology

Describe the methods and technical decisions, risks and fall-back solutions envisaged.

We have selected, amongst the various cooperative target architectures designed to separate the sensor response from clutter, the acoustic device approach for its compact geometry, well known behavior to environmental parameters including temperature and stress, the reproducible cleanroom manufacturing compatible with mass production. However, designing buried chemical sensors interrogated remotely through a wireless link has never been demonstrated in the literature, and challenges lie ahead. We identify the following risks, with various mitigation strategies:

Acoustic transducer design for wireless measurement of compounds in liquid phase:

The main drawback of the acoustic approach is the poor electromechanical conversion efficiency, yielding high insertion losses. Typical reflective delay line losses are in the 30 dB range when using the strongly coupled lithium niobate substrate. The additional challenge here lies in the need to propagate a shear wave coupling with the surrounding viscous fluid solely through an evanescent wave. Furthermore, high gravimetric sensitivity is targeted to improve detection limit: the classical approach of confining the acoustic field close to the surface by guiding the surface wave within a thin film made of a slow material (Love mode conversion) has so far lead to poor experimental sensitivity while simulation hints at similar performance than those met with quartz devices. Fine tuning the guiding layer thickness to both provide utmost sensitivity while keeping strong coupling might become the strongest challenge in terms of cleanroom processing, hence the strong personnel involvement in this field.

Chemical layer patterning:

A differential approach in which the delay from multiple echoes returned by the sensor are measured by the interrogation unit – Ground Penetrating RADAR – is mandatory to get rid of environmental effects (temperature and stress) in addition to getting rid of RADAR to sensor time of flight. Keeping part of the sensor free of sensing layer requires localized deposition by localized polymerization followed by dissolving sites that have not polymerized (photolithography): adding photosensitivity to the sensing resist formulation has not been demonstrated so far. A backup solution is to use a lift-off technique, in which the sacrificial layer is locally deposited in regions to be free of the sensing layer once the process is completed. The challenge in the latter approach is that the sensing layer deposition must not dissolve the sacrificial layer, yet the lift-off process must be able to dissolve the sacrificial layer without affecting the sensing layer chemical functionalization.

GPR drift:

Fine measurement of the echo time of flight requires a stable reference oscillator. While one of the partners – FEMTO-ST and more specifically its Time & Frequency department – is expert in designing high stability oscillators, its application in a Ground Penetrating RADAR architecture is not trivial. Either a stroboscopic receiver approach is used, as was demonstrated previously14, but a complete emission stage must be developed (avalanche transistor + receiver frontend), or a frequency sweep approach is used, or a commercial solution is considered as a backup solution since readily available. The latter approach has been thoroughly investigated lately and has demonstrated inadequate stability15: either a solution to this stability issue is found, or our custom solution must be completed. A final solution is to explore various manufacturer’s receiver stages, since not all manufacturers might be using the voltage to time converted exploited by Mala in their ProEx unit16.


The greatest challenge of the project lies in packaging the chip, defining the life expectancy of the buried device. Packaging includes on the one hand the piezoelectric die protection from particles, but also mechanical protection of the chip during installation, as well as identifying a suitable antenna geometry compatible with inserting the sensor in the soil from the surface. The chip protection is either a custom solution for a self-packaged device – as already demonstrated for physical quantity measurement – assembled in the cleanroom environment during the sensor fabrication. Alternatively, a commercially available packaging solution might be adapted, but its compatibility with radiofrequency devices and operating in liquids remains to be demonstrated. Hence three layers of packaging are considered: die-level packaging to protect the sensing die element from the harsh sub-surface environment for preventing particles from damaging the sensing layer ; chip packaging in order to be handled by operators who are not skilled in chip-level device manipulation ; and complete measurement system including the antenna, ready to be buried, in a shape consistent with the means for installing the sensing system, e.g. coring the soil to insert the probe.

  1. Project organisation and means implemented

    1. Scientific coordinator

Jean-Michel Friedt (43 years old), Lecturer at University of Franche-Comté since 2014

Expertise: Wireless measurement systems, acoustics transducer, biosensors.

Scientific production: 50 articles (H index: 12, 850 citations WoS march, 2017), 40 communications

The principal investigator of UNDERGROUND project is Jean-Michel FRIEDT. His broad expertise in the field of monitoring systems (associating acoustic sensors and GPR) and his ability to develop and manage of interdisciplinary projects and teams will ensure an efficient progress of the project.

Jean-Michel FRIEDT obtained a PhD in Engineering Sciences from the University of Franche-Comté in 2000 and a habilitation degree from the same University in 2010 He was researcher at IMEC (Belgium) from 2000 to 2006, then a systems engineer with SENSeOR SAS from 2006 to 2014. He is lecturer at Université de Franche-Comté in the FEMTO-ST Institute since 2014. His research his focussed on the developments of systems combining acoustics, electronics and engineering science for the developments of sensors. Since 2008, J.-M Friedt is also involved in Arctic glacier investigation driven by the Geography laboratory in Besancon (TheMA, CNRS) in using GPR for monitoring ice thickness and subsurface structures in Arctic environments. 17 18 19 20 21 Since both activities – acoustic transducer development and GPR investigations – appeared perfectly matched22, probing acoustic transducers using GPR has become a natural research topic, gaining momentum as challenges were solved one after the other, to become now a mature field worth deploying in a relevant environment. He has authored or co-authored about 50 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and more than 40 communications.
Jean-Michel FRIEDT was WP leader in ANR projects (HydroSensorFlows 2006-2009, CryoSensors 2010-2013, PRISM 2013-2016) and in European projects (Pamela 2001-2004, Lovefood 2011-2014 and Lovefood2market (2015-2018).

    1. Consortium

The project will be coordinated by Jean-Michel Friedt (FEMTO-ST), as detailed in § 2.a. It enrolls a major French academic research laboratory (Institut FEMTO-ST, labeled “research center of excellence” by the French government) a SME, active in development of acoustic sensors (SENSeOR) and a major company in Energy (TOTAL SA).
Partner 1: Institut FEMTO-ST ( is a joint research unit affiliated to the CNRS and the University of Franche-Comté in the domain of Applied Physics. FEMTO-ST possesses a strong background in the synthesis of organic molecules and polymers. FEMTO-ST is recognized as an international leader in Time&Frequency domain (Labex FIRST-TF, Equipex Oscillateur-IMP) with an expertise in two fields related to this grant request: time and frequency stability – the sensor response is measured with respect to a local timebase which must be significantly more stable than the variation due to the sensing mechanism – and digital signal processing of radiofrequency signals. The T&F department of FEMTO-ST is fitted with all the equipment needed to characterize oscillator stability from the sub-MHz to 40 GHz range, including access to primary frequency references.

FEMTO-ST possesses the following facilities (NMR, UV-Vis and FT-IR spectra for solid or liquid samples characterization, description of electronics). FEMTO-ST is an active member of the French network RENATECH and possesses all cleanroom facilities for the micro-nano fabrication of smart systems, which will fully used for UNDERGROUND.

• G. Copie, F. Cleri, Y. Makoudi, F. Chérioux, F. Palmino, B. Grandidier, Physical Review Letters 114, 066101 (2015)

• J.-M. Friedt, F. Chérioux, S. Lamare, F. Gégot, 13 septembre 2016, FR-1658487. Film de polymere sensible à H2S comportant des fonctions carboxylates et des cations de plomb ou de zinc et capteur passif à onde élastique comportant le film, interrogeable à distance. Titulaires ; Senseor, CNRS, TOTAL SA et Université de Franche-Comté.

• F. Minary, D. Rabus, G. Martin, J.-M. Friedt, Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 096104 (2016).
Partner 2: SENSeOR

Created in February 2006, Senseor is a technology company of 20 people located in Sophia-Antipolis (near Nice) and Besançon, FRANCE. Senseor is focusing on the development and commercialisation of sensors systems based on the Surface Acoustic Wave technology. Being fully passive and wireless, these sensors are used in several applications, such as condition monitoring for rotating machines, process monitoring in harsh environment. The sensors are miniature and maintenance free due to the lack of battery.Senseor includes key competencies for all required domains (sensors, electronics, RF, antennas), and has signed strong partnerships with world-class research institutes (CNRS in France), creating a common laboratory named PhASES in Besançon in 2015. Senseor owns an outstanding portfolio of technology bricks and IP and industrial production partners allowing us to develop and design innovative solutions based on this revolutionary technology for optimal customer value.

Partner 3: TOTAL SA

TOTAL ​ is the world's fourth-ranked international oil and gas company* and a global leader in solar energy through SunPower. TOTAL activities span oil and gas exploration and production, refining, petrochemicals, fuels and lubricants marketing, petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, biomass and solar energy. TOTAL is operating in more than 130 countries with more than 100000 employees. All these activities are conducted with the highest level of standards toward safety and the aim to decrease our impact on the environment, improve energy efficiency for our activities but also for our customers.

* Based on market capitalization in U.S. dollars at december 31, 2015

Complementary and added-value of the consortium

The project brings up together a forefront academic research institution possessing state-of-the-art expertise and equipment and two companies (an SME and a major company). The three partners aim to develop the next generation of chemical sensors for the monitoring of the pollution of soils in industrial sites. To successfully achieve this ambitious objective, we have joined the basic sciences such as physics and chemistry as provided by the FEMTO-ST Institute, engineering for electronics, packaging and cleanroom manufacturing (FEMTO-ST and SENSeOR), requirements and field deployment (Total SA).

FEMTO-ST and SENSeOR have a long history of common activities (collaborative projects since the creation of SENSeOR in 2006), which have led to the creation in a common laboratory in 2016 (PhASES - Physical Acoustics, Sensors and Embedded Systems). TOTAL SA supports SENSeOR and FEMTO-ST through multiple CITEPH grants for the last decade.

Due to the expected impacts of UNDERGROUND, TOTAL SA has decided to be an active member of the consortium because the monitoring of industrial sites is a pivotal issue of the TOTAL SA company. The present consortium is specifically designed to address this issue and maximize the impact of UNDERGROUND by pioneering the studies along different directions of research (organic chemistry, acoustics, device physics, electronics), and addressing the various corresponding communities.

    1. Means of achieving the objectives

Title of the call for proposals, source of funding

Project title

Name of coordinator

Starting date/End date




G. Audoin (TOTAL), F. Gegot (SENSeOR)


Development of wireless passive stress SAW sensors



G. Audoin (TOTAL), F. Gegot (SENSeOR), F. Cherioux (FEMTO-ST)

Oct 2014-Oct 2016

Development of wireless passive chemical SAW sensors and electronic unit for wireless interrogation



M. Baque (TOTAL), F. Gegot (SENSeOR)

Oct 2016-Oct 2018

Development of wireless passive stress SAW sensors and electronic unit for interrogation in the soil

CITEPH grants (Concertation pour l'Innovation Technologique dans les domaines
des energies, are funded by Total S.A. and the other members of the CITEPH (such as Entrepose Contracting). Total amount of the grants received in these projects is around 450keur.
Work package 0. Project management, T0 – T0 +48

Leader: J.-M. Friedt (FEMTO-ST)

Personnel involved: F. Chérioux, (FEMTO-ST) – F. Gegot (SENSeOR) – M.-F. Benassy (TOTAL SA)

This work-package will be supervised by Jean-Michel Friedt (Institut FEMTO-ST), who is the coordinator of the project. His primary role within this work-package will be to organize feedback on the project's progress and between the different partners, paying special attention to exploiting the full potential of the cross-disciplinary nature of the consortium and to making it fully effective. Specifically, he will monitor/be in charge of:

  • the achievement of the project's objectives within the agreed budget and time-frame,

  • the organization of meetings, including for kick-off and bi-annual reviews of the project progress, encountered difficulties, and opportunities for communications and intellectual property associated with the obtained results; whenever beneficial, the setting-up of shorter feedback loops (e.g. extra phone and face-to-face meetings) between partners ensuring maximum efficiency for tackling scientific/technical challenges,

  • the efficient and effective internal communication, in the framework (from more to less frequent) of emails, phone, and face-to-face conversations, allowing for avoiding any conflict situation,

  • the quality control of the work performed, the delivery/achievement of deliverables/milestones,

  • the production of internal reports,

  • the production of contractual reports to the ANR, including collecting, reviewing, and submitting information on the progress of the project and financial statements,

  • the adaptation of the work-plan, the redefinition of objectives, deliverables, and milestones in case unexpected breakthrough or difficulty would occur, in close relationship with all partners and the ANR.

Work package 1. Development of sensors, T0 – T0 +36

Leader: F. Chérioux (FEMTO-ST)

Personel involved: F. Chérioux, V. Petrini, L. Robert, T. Baron, S. Bargiel, J.-M. Friedt, J. Jeannoutot and an engineer (to be hired) (FEMTO-ST) – D. Rabus, F. Gegot and L. Arapan (SENSeOR)

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