Oceanids is a £16M Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) development programme funded by UK Government through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), which commenced in June 2016 and runs until March 2021. The programme is co-ordinated by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and several industry partners. Oceanids is also drawing upon engineering and science expertise across a wide range of UK academic, industry and government organisations. The primary aim of the programme is to develop enhanced capability for the UK marine science community, particularly in unexplored and technologically challenging under-ice and deep-ocean environments.
Oceanids will see two new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) classes delivered: three 1500m depth-rated Autosub Long Range vehicles (ALR1500) that will have longer endurance and greater payload capacity compared to the current vehicles; and a 2000m depth-rated Autosub capable of carrying high-power sensors and operating under ice (Autosub2KUI). The project will also deliver enhanced 'command-and-control' (C2) systems for efficient MAS fleet management, and a range of innovative new sensors to maximise science output from the new platforms. There will also be a series of sea trials to ensure the new capabilities are ready for scienctific deployments anywhere in the ocean.