WP4 Future Marine Autonomous Systems

WP4 Future Marine Autonomous Systems

Marine autonomy is already a major contributor to oceanographic research with a range of platforms being available to cater to different data needs. Dr. Maaten Furlong (NOC) and Prof. Sara Bernardini (Royal Holloway University London) are leading the Future Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) work package that is exploring the future options for autonomy and artificial intelligence (AI). They are: identifying trends in the MAS sector, seeking to understand how emerging technologies can be exploited to meet user data needs, and considering how a MAS-led infrastructure could contribute to NERC’s low carbon objectives. The work package also seeks to understand how commercial data needs will drive technology development and supply chains thereby creating a research ecosystem that will offer the public value for money in the delivery of high impact science.

On 18/03/2021 the WP leads delivered the fourth in our series of NZOC workshops, The 21st Century Marine Technologist: autonomy and sensors for a net zero world, where there was the opportunity to discuss how emerging autonomous and sensor technologies could deliver a world class capability for the science community while meeting UKRI's net zero objectives. The outcomes of this workshop will be published shortly.





Work Package Leads

Dr. Maaten Furlong
Work Package Lead

Prof. Sara Bernardini
Work Package Deputy
Royal Holloway


The objectives for this WP are to:

  1. Review the rationale for the use of MAS platforms in oceanographic research,
  2. Identify the technology trends in the MAS sector and how these could meet the 2035 science need,
  3. Identify the potential for non-ship, non-MAS ocean observing platforms to contribute to carbon reduction and meeting the science need, 
  4. Consider the carbon footprint associated with building and operating autonomous vehicles,
  5. Assess the expected commercial uptake of MAS and the opportunities that this will create for a future infrastructure in terms of supply chains and development costs; consider what capabilities could be provided through commercially developed/operated technologies,
  6. Determine how a MAS-centric infrastructure would impact delivery of science with net zero emissions at the point of use by 2035.