Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. has recently supplied five new Seaglider Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems to the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton, UK. The AUVs were ordered by NOC’s Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems facility (MARS), and will become part of a fleet of underwater gliders that are made available to research institutes around the United Kingdom. With this delivery, MARS will now have 10 Seagliders in its pool of AUVs.
MARS supplies and supports gliders for scientists at the NOC, as well as institutes and Universities around the UK, to carry out their research programmes. 2013 has seen significant investment by the UK government in this technology, furnishing the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with a fleet of over 30 gliders. These gliders are being used to support and enhance oceanographic research by UK scientists around the world, and the new KONGSBERG Seagliders will see service from home waters to the Antarctic.
The new systems will immediately be put to use by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), which also owns two of its own Seaglider AUVs. All of the vehicles will be used in three ongoing, long term research programs: FASTNEt, the Extended Ellet Line and OSNAP.
FASTNEt is a four year program to study the ocean/shelf exchange using novel observations and model techniques to resolve the key seasonal, interannual and regional variation absent from existing knowledge.
Stretching across the Atlantic Ocean between Scotland and Iceland, the Extended Ellett Line is a major gateway for water exchange between the Nordic seas and the Atlantic. Regular in-situ monitoring is essential to develop the understanding of circulation in this area, which has a significant impact in the moderation of Western Europe’s climate.