Advances in ocean science depend on making measurements in the ocean. Satellite observations are only able to provide data for the surface layer of the ocean. To penetrate beyond the surface, scientists are still dependent on in-situ physical measurements. Measurements are taken using a range of platforms including research ships, ocean observatories, moorings and autonomous underwater and surface vehicles.
The NOC provides these facilities to the whole UK marine research community as a centralised and cost-effective resource via the National Marine Equipment Pool. While the ships are the most obvious component of this, the National Marine Equipment Pool is especially important in providing a full suite of equipment available for oceanographic research.
The Discovery Collections comprises benthic and pelagic samples from many areas of the world's oceans.
It is the only collection consisting solely of deep-sea and open ocean invertebrates in the UK and provides vital insight into the species that live at extreme ocean depths.