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The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

Philip Leadbitter


Ocean microstructure has traditional been measured using free fall floats, and within the last 5 years similar systems adapted to Slocum gliders. A partnership between Kongsberg, Rockland Scientific Inc and the University of East Anglia has led to the design and implementation of Micropods, fast thermistor and shear probes that record at 512 Hz, which fit to the shape of the Kongsberg Seaglider an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The work around microstructure is two-fold, firstly validating and improving the data collection methods for microstructure data from AUVs and secondly working with the collected data (mainly but not limited to temperature) to better understand ocean mixing through very small scale perturbations in the upper 1000m of the water column.

Ocean mixing is the process by which physical (momentum and heat), chemical and biological parameters are dispersed throughout the oceans. Using AUVs gives us access to areas that we would not be able to take measurements such as the open oceans or during bad weather where taking a research vessel is not possible. The current area of research is focused on data collected in the Faroe-Shetland channel region during the MASSMO4 an autonomous marine exercise in the summer of 2017 of the Scottish coast. As this is a highly energetic region the aim with this data set is understand and master the analysis techniques to then move onto work based in less energetic regions.


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