Marine ICT to lead Oi2018 discussions

Oceanology International
Oi18 conference sessions will include enabling enhanced marine sensing command & control, widening access to ocean data and novel systems using ocean data. Image courtesy of Oceanology International
Surveyor Interceptor ROV
MMT's new and upgraded Surveyor Interceptor ROV

Marine and ocean information and communications technology (ICT), satellite and data solutions will be the focus of Oceanology International (Oi) 2018.

Speakers will discuss and share the latest developments on topics including the underwater Internet of Things; command and control of marine platforms; applications of AIS and satellite-derived data sources; and access to ocean data.

Chair of the Ocean ICT conference track, former UK national hydrographer and master mariner Rear Admiral Nick Lambert, said: “This is an exciting time. We are on the cusp of ‘sea vision’, an epoch when we will know everything we need about human activity and maritime operations of all kinds in complex sea basins.

“AIS, and now satellite AIS, along with satellite derived data sources such as optical imagery and synthetic aperture radar are exponentially improving in performance, offering corroborating information about maritime operations from space.

“Fusing these space derived sources with terrestrial coastal radar pictures and historical datasets such as vessel registers will provide a comprehensive, reliable picture of human activities on our seas and oceans.”

Importance of hydrographers

Lambert highlighted the role of hydrographers within this revolution and the need for geographical representations in the form of maps, charts or GIS solutions to enable decision making. He also pointed out the importance of data about the bathymetry of marine environments so that resources can be exploited in a sustainable, but economically viable, manner.

Oi18 conference sessions will encompass enabling enhanced marine sensing command & control, widening access to ocean data and novel systems using ocean data.

Lambert will oversee conference sessions alongside fellow chairs Dr Clare Postlethwaite, coordinator of the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN), and Dr Helen Wells, business group leader of meteorology and science at the Met Office.

Data transmission

Dr Wells stated that the Met Office is trying to encourage the discussion of data standards and connectivity, such as how data can be transmitted in real-time or in slower time to widen access to ocean data. It also hopes to see more value delivered from data through highlighting novel uses of ocean data to stimulate more innovation.

Dr Wells commented: “At the Met Office, we are really interested in taking the opportunities afforded to us by new technologies to widen access to ocean data and deliver innovation that leads to improvements in safety and efficiency and ultimately the growth of the blue economy.”

As coordinator of MEDIN, a partnership committed to sharing UK marine data, Dr Postlethwaite promotes access to data by collaborating with representatives from government departments, research institutions and private companies to try and achieve wide commercial, scientific, policy and conservation benefits.

She commented: “The technology involved with acquiring, transmitting and publishing marine data is changing rapidly as the community responds to a desire for receiving data in real-time, new types of sensors measuring new ocean parameters, as well as an ever-increasing volume of data from existing sensors."

Oi18 will also address technological developments including robotics, advanced sensor technology and autonomous systems.

Ocean ICT Expo

This year will further see the launch of the Ocean ICT Expo, which will cover IT, communications and data solutions that form the technical foundation for modern oceanspace research and industry.

Exhibitors will include dotOcean; Metocean Telematics; Liquid Robotics; Sonardyne; Oceanwise; AgileTek; Emodnet; The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC); Esri; Plocan; Deco Geophysical Software; and EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG.

Mapping and spatial data analytics technology specialist Esri is focused on marine data cyber infrastructure (Big Data) requirements, and building-out the Web GIS applications to deliver rapidly-configured and real-time information products. The company anticipates powerful monitoring and modelling will shortly result in benefits.

Esri says its work will impact port authority harbour masters and reinsurers - making navigation decisions less risky; seafood suppliers and shippers – by ensuring safety of the food supply; environmental domain monitors and developers – by building better coastal installations with shorter permit times; and hydrologic forecast offices and scientific research institutions performing insightful science in the complex estuaries of the world.

EOMAP, global provider of satellite-derived information in maritime and inland waters for the offshore industry and government agencies and a pioneer in the field of satellite-derived bathymetry, seafloor mapping and high resolution water quality monitoring will present in the ‘Satellite Toolkit: Rapid access to coastal spatial datalayers’ session in the Ocean ICT conference track.

MMT launched the first version of its Surveyor Interceptor ROV at Oi14 and has since been working on major European pipeline and cable route projects. It will present the new and upgraded Surveyor Interceptor ROV and its UXO detection and subsea pipeline inspections work at Oi18.

Ola Oskarsson, MMT’s founder and one of the inventors of the Surveyor Interceptor ROV, commented: “Oceanology International is a great meeting place for the marine survey industry and we are pleased to now be able to showcase our groundbreaking piece of survey equipment at this show where both clients and our partners will gather to exchange the latest seabed mapping technology and knowledge.”

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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