The Royal Navy say it has has “shown its commitment” to using autonomous and robot systems for underwater survey work.
The Royal Navy, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the National Oceanography Centre have expanded their Memorandum of Understanding for the underwater environment. The Royal Navy say here that the agreement “will see the organisations continue to collaborate in trials and testing of marine autonomous systems and sensors to collect data, broadening the navy’s capabilities in this area”.
The first iteration of the memorandum, signed in 2014, focused on the joint development and trials of unmanned underwater vehicles.
“As the Royal Navy looks to become more innovative with agile working and new methods of operating, it’s continued relationship with the world-class academic and research of the National Oceanography Centre will now look more to the North Atlantic.”
Commodore Mike Knott, ACOS Maritime Capability and Force Development, and Royal Navy sponsor for the Memorandum of Understanding, was quoted as saying:
“The Royal Navy is on an exciting journey to modernise and optimise our ability to collect and exploit hydrographic and oceanographic information. This enduring memorandum allows the Royal Navy to work closely with the National Oceanography Centre and Defence Science and Technology Laboratories to collaborate in developing our world leading expertise in marine science. Consequently, it will ensure that the operational decisions we make will be based on the most up to date environmental data.
The advantage of being able to collectively share knowledge and experience informs our trials and experimentation, such as a recent successful three-month Oceanographic Glider deployment off the coast of Scotland, as we seek to innovate and expand our use of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.”
Potential projects coming up include further testing of gliders and autonomous surface and underwater vehicles as well as the development of robotics systems and their possible military use.