Prof. Russell Wynn

Prof. Russell WynnProf. Russell Wynn is based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and has a broad range of marine science expertise, including geology, ecology, and the application of novel technologies to ocean exploration.Russell is Chief Scientist of the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) facility and is scientific coordinator of the project.

Prof. Wynn said: "Nothing on this scale has been attempted before. The range of vehicles and instruments being deployed at the same time is unique, and they will generate vast amounts of valuable scientific data. One advantage of using robotic vehicles is that they are relatively small and quiet compared to research ships, so they are ideal for making observations of marine life. This new technology is really providing a step change in our ability to measure and monitor the ocean."

Dr Maaten Furlong

Dr Maaten FurlongDr Maaten Furlong specialises in AUV design and development, hydrodynamics and AUV mission analysis. He is responsible for managing the ROV, AUV, subsea glider and USV fleets within the Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems (MARS) facility at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. Maaten deals with the technical aspects of the project.

Dr Furlong said: "Over the next few weeks this exercise will test both our new vehicles and their capabilities, and the co-ordination of a large disparate autonomous vehicle fleet. This is the first time we and our partners have put such a large, diverse range of marine autonomous vehicles in the water at the same time. It is a logistical and technical challenge. Each vehicle travels at a different speed and depth, has its own range of sensors, and requires its own pilot to keep watch on its position and activity. Co-ordinated this fleet to achieve the science objected is a challenging task, and will teach us a lot about running this sort of operation. Understanding how to run this type of campaign is essential as our aim in the long term is to routinely deploy fleets of robots to tackle ocean research problems."