Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems
The vehicles within the Marine Autonomous Robotic Systems (MARS) group are definitely some of the most eye-catching tools a scientist can use. These high-tech pieces of equipment allow scientists to explore the oceans in ways that previously weren’t possible.
An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) doesn’t need a human to operate it and therefore doesn’t need a direct link to a ship or an operator. This allows the vehicles to explore difficult to reach areas. But exploring new environments and using new technology comes with a certain amount of risk. Our Risk and reliability group works towards understanding these challenges and increasing the chances of success.
MARS has the three types of completely robotic submarines AUVs called Autosub. We have taken Autosub to many exotic areas, including Greenland and Antarctica, where it investigated the dark mysterious ice caverns under floating ice shelves, and the deep Caribbean, where it helped discover the world deepest “black smoker” hydrothermal vent. The Autosub team have built up, over nearly 20 years, a worldwide reputation in the design, improvement and operations of these yellow submarines.
MARS also operates another type of AUV the glider. Gliders don’t have a conventional propeller, but ingeniously glide up and down through the ocean by pumping oil in and out of an external bladder to make them alternately rise and sink. We now have total of 11 gliders in the fleet.
You can follow the progress of the MARS Autosub and Glider expeditions through our regular MARS newsletters: