National Oceanography Center News

(Photo: NOC)

Exploring Deep-seafloor Mineral Deposits

A new project funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), and led by Professor Bramley Murton at the National Oceanography Center (NOC), will aim to reduce the potential environmental impact of future subsea mining by making exploration for deep-seafloor mineral deposits much more effective.Many deep-seafloor mineral deposits, which can provide vital new metals for emerging technologies, including those that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, were formed by hot springs on the seafloor. The big question facing geologists is whether these deposits – the vast majority of which

The frame and instruments as they were when they washed up. Photo: NOC

Lost @ Sea: Missing Equipment Washes Up Five Years Later

After going missing on Christmas Day five years ago, deep ocean measuring equipment belonging to the UK’s National Oceanography Center (NOC) has just been found on a beach in Tasmania by a local resident after making a 14,000 km journey across the ocean.In 2011, this deep-ocean lander instrument was deployed by NOC scientists in the northern Drake Passage, which is a narrow section of the ocean between South America and Antarctica. Measuring ocean bottom pressure here helps provide information on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which is the largest ocean current in the world. The instrument

© Mykola Mazuryk / Adobe Stock

India Plans Deep Dive for Seabed Minerals

of organisms and creatures have evolved over millions of years, free of wild currents, sunlight, vibrations and noise which mining would bring, said Mahapatra, managing editor of the New Delhi-based science and environment magazine Down To Earth.According to a 2017 study by Britain's National Oceanography Center, mining experiments at seven sites in the Pacific Ocean showed the amount and diversity of marine life was reduced "often severely and for a long time".Sediment plumes and disturbance caused by mining could wipe out habitats for slow-growing corals and fish, Mahapatra said.It

Photo courtesy of Planet Ocean Ltd.

Royal Navy Supports Successful Trial of New Micro-Robots

ecoSUB, has been successfully trialed in the North Sea off Orkney during a marine robot demonstrator mission coordinated by the National Oceanography Center (NOC).ecoSUB is a new type of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) developed by Planet Ocean in partnership with the NOC. The vehicles are around 0.5 meters in length and weigh only 4 kg, and are therefore classified as 'micro-AUVs'. Despite their small size, they are capable of diving to 500 m (2500m for ecoSUB-m25) and have sufficient battery power to stay underwater for several hours.Two of the new ecoSUB-µ5-SVP vehicles were

The heavy 800 kg frame that was moved by the flow (© 2017 MBARI)

'Smart Boulders' Measure Seafloor Avalanches

part of the submarine canyon. As flows traveled further to deeper water where the canyon was wider, they were also found to slow down. These new findings provide valuable information to identify safe crossing points across other canyons for new seafloor cables and pipelines.According to National Oceanography Center (NOC) scientist Dr. Mike Clare, one of the authors of this paper, “The dense nature of the submarine flows came as a surprise. It means they could cause more damage to communication cables than we thought. It will also make them harder to image.”The 18-month, international

An example of an unmanned vessel, SEA-KIT’s Unmanned Surface Vessel USV Maxlimer Maldon, is capable of deploying and recovering an autonomous submersible craft. SEA-KIT are a finalist of the Shell Ocean Discovery X-Prize competition (Photo: MCA)

UK Spurs Autonomous Shipping Development

The autonomous and smart shipping industry is set to receive a boost, after the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Department for Transport (DfT), in collaboration with the National Oceanography Center’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Center, successfully secured £1 million in a bid to accelerate the U.K. into a world-leading position in this area.The funding, awarded by the U.K. Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, will be used to pioneer new ways of regulating the autonomous and smart shipping

Photo: NOC

NOCS: Expedition to Investigate Carbon in the Benguela Upwelling

will begin an ambitious science expedition to the South Atlantic to study the role of low oxygen zones in ocean carbon storage. The results of this investigation will help improve understanding of how the ocean’s biology contributes to the long-term storage of carbon in the ocean.The National Oceanography Center (NOC) will lead this expedition to the Benguela upwelling region of the South Atlantic, where cold, nutrient-rich water rises to the surface, providing the food to fuel large blooms of tiny marine plants, called phytoplankton.The science conducted on this latest expedition forms part of

Autonomous underwater vehicle Boaty McBoatface (Photo: NOC)

Boaty McBoatface Completes First Antarctic Mission

The National Oceanography Center’s (NOC) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Autosub Long Range (ALR), known affectionately around the world as ‘Boaty McBoatface’, was recovered last month following its first under-ice mission beneath the Filchner Ice Shelf in West Antarctica.From January to February 2018, the AUV was deployed in the southern Weddell Sea during RV Polarstern cruise PS111 as part of the Filchner Ice Shelf System (FISS) Project – a collaboration involving leading U.K. research institutions including the NOC, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Met Office Hadley Center

Photo: UKHO

UKHO Conducts Seabed Mapping in Tonga to Support Blue Economy

(seafloor features and depths), and as part of the survey, tidal observations will also be taken.   This work forms part of the CME Program, a program delivered on behalf of the UK Government by the UKHO, the Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the National Oceanography Center (NOC). The program aims to support the sustainable growth of Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by making the most of their natural economic and environmental resources.      

Riptide Autonomous Presents at Oceanology 2018

to include multiple sizes and diverse payload configurations.   Those interested in a discussion about these developments can attend the Expanding Capabilities of Unmanned Vehicles session in the conference program.  Chaired by Professor Russell Wynn, Chief Scientist at the UK National Oceanography Center this session will take place 1000-1145 on Wednesday March 14th.   The session will include five presentations on UUV and USV technology from Europe and the United States. Jeff Smith, President of Riptide, said “ we are excited to present our growing capability to deliver customer

Sanchi oil spill modeling - February 2018 (Image: NOC)

Sanchi Oil Spill Puts Coral Reefs at Risk

nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, and there are fears that the ship may be leaking heavy fuel oil.   Now scientists say water polluted by the Sanchi oil tanker may reach coral reefs in the Ryukyu Island chain, based on the latest ocean model simulation by researchers from the National Oceanography Center (NOC) and the University of Southampton, using the leading edge, high-resolution global ocean circulation model, NEMO.   These latest predictions have been made possible following new information about the suspected arrival of some of the oil from the Sanchi oil tanker at Amami-Oshima

Example of high resolution sonar data of shipwreck, showing capability to provide detailed and accurate models of seabed features to inform safety of navigation and environmental management (Image: UKHO)

Seabed Mapping Underway in Belize

of fisheries and other marine resources, as well as supporting coastal protection and management.   This work forms part of the CME Program, a program delivered on behalf of the U.K. Government by the UKHO, the Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the National Oceanography Center (NOC). The program aims to support the sustainable growth of Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by making the most of their natural economic and environmental resources

Saab Seaeye Joins NOC Robotics Innovation Center

Underwater robotics company Saab Seaeye has joined the National Oceanography Center’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Center, as an Associate Member.   For Saab Seaeye, the NOC is an important hub in the development of underwater autonomous and robotic systems, and this new membership will further enable Saab Seaeye to collaborate with other strategic partners in the advancement of underwater robotic systems.   Jon Robertson, Managing Director at Saab Seaeye, said, “Our association with the NOC will allow us to advance the emergence of transformative robotics by continuing

(Photo: Dr. Andrew Gates / NOC)

AUVs Launched and Recovered Autonomously

autonomous launch and recovery of multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) from an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) was demonstrated as the closing part of their Innovate UK project.   The demonstration, performed in front of invited guests from the project partners Planet Ocean, National Oceanography Center (NOC), ASV Ltd, University of Southampton and funders Innovate UK and Dstl  took place on a sunny July day in the Solent. The day marked the final activity of the two year Innovate U.K. project, during which two extremely capable, low cost AUVs were developed along with the launch

Ed Hill (Photo: NOC)

Voices: NOC Executive Director Ed Hill

At the National Oceanography Center (NOC) in Southampton, U.K. for Ocean Business 2017, Marine Technology Reporter was able to sit down with Professor Ed Hill, NOC Executive Director, to discuss the science and technologies moving ocean studies forward.   Please give an overview of your activities here at the National Oceanography Center. The National Oceanography Center is part of the Natural Environment Research Council which is the main body that funds environmental science, including oceanography, in the U.K. We are a national facility. We undertake research in large-scale oceanography

Photo: NOC

How Does Ocean Circulation Impact Marine Protected Areas?

Researchers at the National Oceanography Center (NOC) studying the U.K.’s four largest Marine Protected Areas have found that, because of the ocean’s vigorous circulation, even remote, seemingly pristine habitats, are not isolated from human activities, and may be vulnerable to pollution and overfishing impacts.   In recent years, a number of large Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been set up around the world to create ‘safe havens’ for marine life. These have been established to help with biodiversity and habitat preservation, to restore damaged ecosystems, and also

SEA’s global ANPS map (Image: SEA)

UK Navy Upgrades Ambient Noise Prediction System

environmental information and take advantage of higher resolution meteorological models to produce ambient forecasts that will be used by vessels equipped with sonar assets throughout the U.K. Royal Navy.   The ANPS was first developed by SEA, which worked in conjunction with the National Oceanography Center (NOC) in Southampton and in collaboration with NATO scientists to undertake research into acoustic characterization of the seabed. It was released to the RN in 2003.   The ANPS is now part of the operational support provided to the fleet by the Joint Operational Meteorology and

Marine Technology Magazine Cover Nov 2018 - Acoustic Doppler Sonar Technologies ADCPs and DVLs

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