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Oceanographic Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis

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View from the Top in the extreme temperatures and sea states that have unfortu- and remote operations centers onshore where professionals nately claimed so many lives before. Unmanned technology will be on hand to work across a number of drill sites, or ma- certainly provides the opportunity for the current and next rine observatories rather than offshore at just one at a time.

generation to have an even safer working life. It is often repeated that we know more about the Moon Every business, every industry has its challeng- than we do our Oceans and rather than Planet Earth it should es. What do you consider to be the greatest really be called Planet Ocean or Planet Water seeing as over challenge to your business today, and how are you investing to overcome that challenge.

70% of the surface is water! I am sure all of the readers would agree that we need more data from the Oceans but with the Unmanned systems offer advantages in terms of cost sav- increasing costs of sending ships to sea we need to look to- ings and increased safety. One of the biggest challenges faced wards other technologies and methods. Unmanned systems by the unmanned platforms industry is that their systems don’t (including satellites) offer a huge potential in this area, they have personnel onboard for minor repairs yet have to operate can operate for long periods of time gathering data for com- at equivalent or higher levels of reliability than conventional paratively low costs. As they become more widely adopted vessels. We have been investing heavily in additional levels they will reduce in cost and become even more widely used, of redundancy, fault tolerant operations and health monitor- another positive cycle! ing and actually now see opportunities to increase reliability because there are no people onboard! We have invested in our

If you had a crystal ball and could envision how trials team and facilities to allow for more testing in different this industry will look and operate in the year environments. This has included a temperature controlled test 2025, what would you see?

tank and new offshore workboat for trials. We are investing I think we will see more and more data in real time for ev- in working with local universities with expertise in acceler- erything we are doing offshore. This will allow for decisions ated environmental testing and statistical analysis of fault log- to be made more quickly and effectively and for an increase in ging and reliability optimisation. We have seen great results safety and reliability. I predict we will see more remote data already and take this industry challenge seriously.

Dan Hook’s Career Path I completed a Masters of Engineering in Ship Science and Naval

Architecture at the University of Southampton. The University had strong links with what was then the Southampton Oceanography Cen- tre and is now the National Oceanography Centre. It was there that they developed the Autosub series of AUVs and this sparked my interest in unmanned systems. After graduating I worked for approximately ten years in the development and testing of powerboat hull forms, system design and naval architecture consultancy whilst working on ASVs in the evenings and weekends. During this time I became a Chartered

Engineer and rose to become Technical Director at a company called

Seaspeed. Eventually in 2010 I had the opportunity to focus on ASV full time as the Managing Director and quickly recruited an excel- lent team to take it forwards. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career so far and found that working in the area of unmanned marine systems exposes you to a fascinating blend of technologies, people and places and would strongly encourage any student readers to choose it as a career.

(Photo: ASV)

March 2016

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