Marine Measurement Forum # 55 a great success                   5th February 2015

The 55th Marine Measurement Forum (MMF55) was hosted by ASV Ltd in Portchester, Hampshire at the end of January 2015 and bought together 70 delegates from the ocean community. The day saw 14 presentations from a range of commercial and research organisations, all set in the ASV workshop that, for one day only, was kitted out like a conference centre complete with full size USVs!

Following the opening address from ASV’s Managing Director Dan Hook, the first session commenced with a presentation from Terry Edwards of RS Aqua talking about the advances seen in the Datawell Directional Waverider4 buoy compared to earlier models. The topic of instrumentation was continued by Nortek’s Eric Siegal who discussed using an AD2CP for small vessel surveys, followed by Tom Broomfield of Teledyne Reson looking at the features of SeaBat Sonars and finally by Stephen Andre from Alphecca who illustrated the methods taken to monitor solitons in the ocean.

After a networking coffee break, Geraint West from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) kicked off the second session by outlining the latest in the developments at the new Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems Innovation Centre (MARSIC) at NOC, Southampton. By facilitating the sharing of ideas, knowledge and information, it is intended that the centre will act as the driver for a coherent Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) strategy throughout the UK. David Todd from HR Wallingford went on to describe the organisations impressive new Fast Flow Facility which has the ability to generate waves up to 1m high and flows of over 2.6m/s.

After a very well received hot lunch during which delegates took advantage of the opportunity to view the ASV vessels on display and to network extensively, the first presentation in the afternoon session focussing on research and applications saw Dr Alex Nimmo-Smith of Plymouth University talking about holographic imaging of marine suspended particles. He emphasised that this method can improve the ability to identify and characterise particles. The emerging theme of marine autonomy was continued by Russell Wynn from NOC as he shared the stories and lessons learnt from the recently completed MASSMO trial which saw the UKs largest ever deployment of marine robots as the fleet was launched SW England back in October 2014. Other speakers in this session included Dr James Fishwick from Plymouth Marine Laboratory who talked about the work carried out on the Western Channel Observatory using a variety of platforms which can be used for sensor testing. Visiting from Canada, Greg Johnson of RBR treated the audience to a humorous and enlightening explanation of the rationale behind the design of RBR ocean sensors followed by deployment tales of the Liquid Robotics Waveglider from Stephen Auld. Elizabeth Paull from Aquatec Group provided an interesting insight into gathering coastal oceanographic data using “fishing boats of opportunity” and the development of a new temperature and depth recorder capable of delivering immediate results whilst reducing cost per data point. The final presentation of the day was delivered by Sean Newsome from Teledyne SeaBotix who showcased some real life ROV deployments including the recovery of an airplane black box and a victim.

The day was brought to a close with a final address from Dan Hook before delegates were invited on a tour of the new ASV facility. Delegates seemed to be very impressed with the day’s event which provided informative presentations, great networking opportunities and a wonderful lunch all for £36 per head.


Mountain Man Martin gets to the summit of Kilimanjaro                   19th February 2015

A personal colleague, Martin Hodgson, has just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (reached the top early on 5th February 2015) raising funds for our favoured charity, SUDEP Action. He kept a diary of the day to day activities which makes for fascinating reading. The diary can be reached via the following link                   http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MartinsKilimanjaroChallenge     

 It makes for very good reading. If you read the diary and are inspired by Martin's achievement, please donate to his site as he is desperate to reach the total sum of £5,000 (well in excess of his original target).