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Centre of Excellence for In situ and Remote Intelligent Sensing


IRIS CoE are also developing a pool of cutting edge robotics platforms and sensing equipment.

This equipment can be booked and used by IRIS members.

We are also happy to collaborate on related external projects. Please contact Us

A successful EPSRC Core Equipment grant combined with funding from the SMMI and the IROE Centre of Excellence, along with support from Sonardyne International Ltd, enabled IRIS to procure two robotic platforms, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK and the IQUA Sparus II AUV, both featuring very high positional accuracy.

The bid was developed by IRIS member Prof Kirk Martinez, Prof Blair Thornton (IRIS Co-director) and Dr Mark Pickering (IRIS Impact Acceleration Manager).

Prof Martinez has a particular interest in high accuracy, repeatable glacial survey having conducted extensive fieldwork in Iceland and scoped the Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) requirements. Selecting a robust, relatively long endurance UAV using RTK (Real Time Kinematic) positioning updates from a local base station, enables very high (centimetre) level 3D positioning accuracy of the UAV and the data collected. 

Prof Thornton an expert in marine robotics, who has been working on advanced methods for seafloor imaging, scoped the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle requirement. The AUV selected is rated to coastal shelf edge depths of 300m where currents and hence positioning errors are often high.

Advanced INS positioning products that lock on to the seafloor using reflected sound waves to increase navigational accuracy have recently become small and light enough to integrate onto mid-size AUVs such as the Sparus II. This will enable dramatically improved (decimetre) underwater AUV and data positioning, opening up a range of new applications.


The Matrice 300 UAV and RTK base station was delivered in summer 2021 and is undergoing initial testing and trials by the core team.

More details on the platform, sensors and a booking system for IRIS members will be added here very soon.

A presentation on the first project with the IRIS UAV and the new booking system will be given in a BLS/IRIS seminar on the 22nd of November 2021.

DJI Matrice 300 UAV
DJI Matrice 300 UAV

The Sparus II AUV and advanced INS has been procured and their integration is ongoing. The platform is due for delivery by March 2022.

More details on the platform, sensors and a booking system for IRIS members will be added here in due course.


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