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Plymouth Marine Laboratory reveals plan for 24 m USV Oceanus

Date: 15 Jun 2022 Author: Chief Editor

🎯 Supported by seed funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the sleek, futuristic-looking and fully unmanned ‘Oceanus’ has been designed as a self-righting, light-weight, mono-hulled autonomous vessel capable of carrying an array of monitoring sensors to collect data for research into critical areas such as climate change, biodiversity, fisheries and biogeochemistry.

The Oceanus represents a ground-breaking vision of how long-range marine research can be carried out in a more environmentally-benign way. While a fuel-efficient diesel engine will still feature, it will be complemented by on-board micro-energy generation devices and solar panels on the deck.

The Command Centre for Oceanus will be hosted at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and will display oceanographic conditions in near-real time across the ship’s transect, providing scientists and other users with open access to the latest and most robust oceanographic data.

💡 The idea for the vessel was borne in the wake of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, also developed and built in Plymouth by M Subs Ltd and partners including IBM. The vessel’s name Oceanus was the name of the first child to be born on the original Mayflower in 1620.

🎤 Icarus Allen, Chief Executive of Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said: “This is a hugely exciting venture, with the capacity to revolutionize the way we carry out marine research expeditions and support the drive towards net zero. The Oceanus will exploit the very latest in AI technology, enabling us to push the frontiers of marine science and open up new opportunities in how we monitor the ocean environment. Not that long ago this would have been the stuff of science fiction fantasy but through the design and development of the Oceanus we are really unlocking the future of ocean-going marine research.”

🎤 Brett A Phaneuf, Managing Director, M Subs Ltd: “It’s a privilege to work with the team at M Subs Ltd and PML and aid in the design, construction and operation of novel, autonomous ships that will add significantly to the corpus of knowledge about our Ocean and the planet in general. The voyages of exploration the RV Oceanus will undertake are matched in intensity by the parallel technological voyage to bring into being a new era in climate science – at lower fiscal and ecological cost.”

📃📷 Source: Plymouth Marine Laboratory