About the Oceanids Programme
Oceanids is a £16 million Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) development programme funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and being delivered by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Science, University of Exeter, University of Southampton, and industry partners. Pushing the boundaries of marine autonomy will enable the UK to maintain its position as a global leader in oceanographic science with a low carbon research infrastructure that delivers cost-effective public benefit and feeds into the growing blue economy.
Oceanids is addressing platform, autonomy, data ecosystem and sensor system challenges to provide new and exciting opportunities for the UK science community. Drawing upon engineering and science expertise from across a wide range of UK academic and industry organisations, the programme aims to augment the commercially available Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) in NERC’s National Marine Equipment Pool (NMEP) by developing enhanced data collection capabilities, particularly for delivering science in unexplored and technologically challenging under-ice and deep-ocean environments.
Oceanids is delivering two new classes of AUV: three 1500m depth-rated Autosub Long Range vehicles (ALR1500) that will have longer endurance and greater payload capacity compared to the current generation; and a 2000m depth-rated Autosub capable of carrying high-power sensors and operating under ice (A2KUI). The programme is also delivering enhanced command-control and data management software (C2) for efficient management of MAS fleets both by NOC and other operators. Five sensor development projects have been awarded to academic institutions as grants and are being integrated onto a variety of MAS platforms to demonstrate their value to science. Oceanids has also invested in capital equipment in support of the NEXUSS Centre for Doctoral Training, the NMEP and the UK’s Antarctic Rothera Research Station.