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As the ecoSUB range of small, affordable autonomous underwater vehicles enter full production, Planet Ocean is pleased to announce the formation of an advisory board to help guide the project into the next phase and beyond. The board comprises acknowledged leaders in their fields to counsel the company on the opportunities for maximising the impact of its technologies globally.
“We recognise that although we have a deep understanding of the technology and the three main target user groups for ecoSUB, we are by no means expert in them all and the formation of this board of specialists will ensure that we remain focused and on the right track as well as providing industry insights into what the users groups around the World need in the future.” says Terry Sloane, founder and MD of Planet Ocean and ecoSUB Robotics.
The advisory team have long been advocates of the use of small, agile autonomous systems in their respective fields and ecoSUB in particular. Their decades of real world experience and vision is a significant asset available to the ecoSUB team. Of particular importance is an understanding of how micro AUV technology fits into the wider use of undersea autonomy in general.
With COVID-19 restriction easing, we have been out with our new production ready ecoSUB AUVS for trials and testing - see what we have been up to in this short video
We are very proud to see ecoSUB AUVs announced in this list and to receive recognition for the exciting and disruptive technology that we have been developing, which we are confident will have a meaningful impact on various marine science communities operating in a wide range of sectors.
We are very much looking forward to an exciting 2020 where we should start to see a lot more ecoSUBs out with customers completing many interesting missions.
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Miguel Moll and his team at EMS Systems have been appointed as exclusive distributors for ecoSUB AUVs. EMS has offices in France and Spain and are appointed as the exclusive distributor for France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. EMS have an excellent reputation working within the marine science communities in these countries and we are very proud to have them working with us to provide local sales and support in these European countries.
EMS are joining our distributors, Nippon-Kaiyo Co Ltd in Japan, Metocean Services International Pty Ltd in Australia, and Lwandle Marine Environmental Services based in South Africa and are appointed to cover South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia and Angola.
Please visit our International Sales page for more information and contact details.
The ecoSUB team all enjoyed three days at the Marine Autonomous Technology Showcase (MATS), hosted by NOC in Southampton during November. ecoSUB gave two presentations, Iain presented the work done on Network Localisation and Jeremy gave a presentation about his trip to Zanzibar where an ecoSUBm5 was used to complete video surveys of coral reefs.
The conference and exhibition was a great success, we lost count of the number of times an ecoSUB appeared in a presentation or display, demonstrating the enthusiastic appetite that exists for working with our low cost AUVs. ecoSUB has benefitted enormously from it's membership in the NOC's Marine Robotics Innovation Centre and the many partnerships and collaborative activity that it has been able to participate in.
Iain and Jeremy from ecoSUB were joined in Biograd na Moru, Croatia by Alex Phillips and Davide Fenucci from NOC, as well as Jeff Neasham and his team from Newcastle University, all partners in our recent Innovate UK project to develop network localisation for advanced positioning and navigation of ecoSUB AUVs.
The group were all attending Breaking the Surface, an interdisciplinary marine robotics workshop held between 29 Sep - 5 Oct. The event supports the opportunity to run trials throughout the week with colleagues from Zagreb University providing first class support and access to the resort facilities.
ecoSUB hosted three demo sessions to delegates, and provided a talk on network localisation, which included some outstanding data collected from the local waters.
Seven ecoSUB AUVs travelled with the team and six operated together within the network, producing some excellent track lines following complicated lawnmower patterns and demonstrating multi-vehicles operations. At the end of the week the team extended the network into the waters between Biograd na Moru and the nearest large island, Pašman, successfully completing a three hour mission.
Our many thanks are extended to the Breaking the Surface team for hosting such a great event.
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An ecoSUB underwater robotic vehicle owned and operated by the Scottish Association for Marine Science will go on an Arctic research mission deemed too dangerous for humans in a bid to help scientists understand the true extent of melting from Arctic glaciers.
The team from (SAMS) in Oban, led by oceanographer Prof Mark Inall, will deploy an ecoSUB to the foot of a melting glacier in Arctic Norway. The aim is to learn more about the effect of meltwater on a process called ‘calving’, which causes huge chunks of ice to break off the glacier edge.
Less than a metre in length and just four kilogrammes in weight, the ecoSUB will enter one of the most hostile environments on the planet to take measurements such as temperature and salinity as far down as 100 metres below Kronebreen glacier on Svalbard. The work will give researchers a clearer picture of how warming ocean properties affect the calving process.
Prof Inall said: “Given the importance of Arctic glacial ice melt in terms of climate change and sea level rise, the interaction between melt water and sea water beneath glaciers is hugely understudied. We have satellite images and models that help to predict the extent of ice loss but it is extremely important to ‘ground-truth’ these predictions by investigating conditions in the field.
“It would simply be too dangerous to go into such a hostile and remote environment with a boat. Not only is there a risk of falling ice, but large-scale calving causes huge waves, so it is a dangerous environment. That is where the ecoSUB will come into its own, working at the front line of Arctic science.”
ecoSUB’s readings will help researchers better understand the process of sub-glacial discharge, a term given to melt water that flows down through the glacier and out into the ocean. This water is fresher than the surrounding sea water, so starts to rise in the water column, creating a plume that pulls in warmer Atlantic water. As it rises, it circulates and creates a sandpaper effect against the face of the glacier. This process undermines the wall of ice, causing huge chunks to collapse into the sea.
SAMS will also deploy a larger AUV further from the glacier to take more detailed measurements and a drone will take aerial images of the glacier to help build a 3D map, whilst capturing a bird’s-eye view of calving events.
James Coogan, a University of the Highlands and Islands PhD student at SAMS, will be operating the ecoSUB. He said much of the current understanding of sub-glacial discharge was based on mathematic models. “We want to get direct measurements of these plumes,” he added. “How much fresh water is coming out of the glacier? How much of an effect is this having on the fjord water? How much heat and salt is in the water flowing in? “These are questions we can answer to an extent with models but we need to check these conclusions with real data from the field. That hasn’t been feasible, until now.”
The team travels to Svalbard on Wednesday, August 7.
We spent much of last week at sea extending our testing of our underwater acoustic localisation and navigation system. We had an ambitious target to get 10 of our ecoSUBs in the water operating together within a network, unfortunately we only got to six before we ran out of time on the water :(
We had many successes during the week and will be back out soon to finish off the mission!
Our many thanks to Smart Sound Plymouth for use of Plymouth Quest, PML Explorer and the Smart Sound Laboratory based at Plymouth Marine Lab (PML). Our special thanks to James Fishwick of PML/Smart Sound for all his help and support with coordination, logistics and piloting PML Explorer.
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