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Blue Planet Mysteries – New Funding to Develop Marine Sensors

Rebekah Valero-Lee IT

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Have you been glued to the television every Sunday watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet? We have. Well, a few weeks ago it was announced that funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will help researchers at Southampton University to develop new marine sensor technologies for probing the mysteries of the world’s oceans.

Beneath the waves

The funding is part of a package for ground-breaking research and innovation projects in robotics and artificial intelligence systems, meaning we can soon learn even more about the depths of our oceans. Therefore, the sensors that will result from the projects – designed to be compatible with autonomous underwater systems such as NOC’s Boaty McBoatface – will be able to perform a variety of functions at sea, assisting researchers to answer questions about our changing oceans.

For example, one project – BioCam – will develop a 3D visual mapping system to obtain detailed colour images and topographical measurements of the sea floor.

New opportunities

The programme as a whole, aims to develop robotics solutions to make a safer working environment in industries such as off-shore energy, space and deep mining, increase productivity and open up new cross disciplinary opportunities that are currently not available.

In short, the projects will develop ambitious new technologies that work in hazardous and extreme environments, maintaining the UK’s world-class status in marine robotics.

Morson and technology

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