Oceanographers have driven the widespread use and acceptance of robotic and autonomous systems in the marine environment. These platforms transform our monitoring capability through autonomous, adaptive and persistent observations from the sea surface to the deepest depths and furthest reaches of the oceans.
The scientific community have broad access to Marine Autonomous Systems platforms, sensors and networks. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) supports the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) fleet at the National Oceanography Centre, and NERC-funded scientists have access to support world class oceanography.
The MARS fleet is one of the largest and most advanced in the world, having benefited from a £10 million investment as part of the UK Government’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’ initiative, and £16 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Key to its success are the 45 engineers and technologists that develop, maintain, and operate the vehicles.
The equipment in the MARS fleet is of the National Marine Equipment Pool (NMEP) for use by the marine science community. Please discuss your requirements with the relevant engineering manager.
AUV Operations Team
The AUV Operations team maintains and operates the high powered Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). Our engineers work closely with scientists to support their science goals and expeditions.
Gliders and Unmanned Surface Vehicles Team
The Glider team supports deployments of the Underwater Gliders and Unmanned Surface Vehicles. Experts in deployment and operation of marine robots over the horizon, the glider team routinely support science campaigns across the globe.
The ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) team operate the Isis and Hybis ROVs. The team will pilot these platforms remotely from the ship, which allows scientists to watch live as the vehicles gather samples, photos and video footage.
MARS Development Group
Experts in the development of novel Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems for ocean science, oil and gas, and deep sea mining. The group develops new platforms to extend the capabilities of the MARS fleet. We are responsible for new AUV platforms Autosub Long Range (ALR1500) and Autosub2KUI.