NOC Celebrates 25Th Anniversary Of First AUV Mission

This year, the National Oceanography Center (NOC) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) mission. 

Over the last quarter of a century, the NOC’s underwater robots have been at the center of countless missions across the world in the most extreme marine environments to support scientific ocean research. As the world gathers in Glasgow at the COP26 summit, the NOC is marking its progress in technological developments, which now allow its scientists to reach new ocean depths, travel under ice, take readings in remote areas and collect data during high sea states to help our understanding of the ocean and threats of climate change.

In 1996, the NOC embarked on its first AUV mission in Portland Harbor, Dorset – a three-day programm to demonstrate the transition of remote control autonomous operation with GPS and dead-reckoning navigation.  A year later, the team and Autosub-1 were gathering oceanographic data off the Florida coast, and the following year off Bermuda. The inaugural mission was at the forefront of the scientific and technical credibility of autonomous underwater vehicles, and laid the foundations for the innovative global AUV operations and developments undertaken by the NOC team today.

After 25 years of development and the launch of its Marine Autonomous & Robotics Systems Group (MARS), the NOC’s state-of-the-art robot submarines are paving the way for safer and more cost-efficient offshore operations. Oceanids – the N....

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