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Centre of Excellence for In situ and Remote Intelligent Sensing

About us

The natural phenomena that occur at the extremes of Earth’s environment, such as space weather, earthquakes and tsunamis, can lead to humanitarian disasters, damage vital infrastructure and cause billions of pounds worth of economic disruption. A greater understanding of our planetary frontiers is vital if we are to develop effective responses to these challenges.

The University of Southampton’s Centre of Excellence for In situ and Remote Intelligent Sensing (IRIS) is the world’s only research hub dedicated to developing intelligent sensing technologies that can gather data in remote and harsh environments, from deep oceans and polar regions to the edges of space, deliver insights and make smart decisions when and where they are needed.

The development of compact, high-performance digital technology allows data to be processed at its point of origin. This concept of ‘edge computing’ removes the delays and bandwidth limitations typically involved in communicating data to central processing centres, allowing for real-time monitoring, analysis and decision-making. This makes systems more responsive and resilient, which is necessary for use in some of the world’s most difficult environments. IRIS’s work is advancing edge computing beyond the built environment, adapting existing sensing concepts used in the home, transport, manufacturing and medical diagnosis to overcome the energy, communication and endurance challenges posed by remote and extreme conditions.

IRIS looks at how intelligence can be applied in the most remote and extreme regions of our planet to help generate insights about our environmental frontiers

The result is a new generation of intelligent, connected, self-powered sensing systems that will provide previously unobtainable intelligence, giving us new insights and helping us tackle some of the most pressing environmental and human challenges we face today.

IRIS’s work is driven by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in areas such as robotics, energy harvesting, underwater imaging, space debris modelling, Arctic instrumentation, machine intelligence, remote sensing, microfluidic sensing, and image processing. The research builds on Southampton’s track record of innovative projects in related fields, which have tackled challenges such as deep-sea robotic surveying, offshore and waterways infrastructure monitoring, auroral imaging, and geological core analysis.

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