The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) located in Teddington, United Kingdom, hosted the 61st edition of the Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) which bought together a strong turnout of 67 delegates from industry, academia and professional bodies from across the UK, as well as many international attendees from countries such as Poland, Norway and Canada.
Thirteen attendees presented to the forum, with the presentations grouped into three sessions, each session chosen by related topic. This provided a fantastic opportunity for a number of the presenters to refer back to other presentations, indicating how relevant and beneficial this meeting has been for bringing marine measurement professionals together. Presentations included topics such as: hydrophones (both deployment methods and characteristics), surveying in the oceans and coastal regions, the use of satellite data and the importance of accuracy, and even unexploded ordinance and the importance of using the correct techniques to search for these in proposed renewable development sites. The day was finished with a tour of NPL’s open water calibration tanks and the Acoustic Pressure Vessel before the day came to a close.
Nick Crawford, a Research scientist in NPL’s Ultrasound and Underwater Acoustics group, chaired the meeting and said ‘The MMF is such a fantastic opportunity to bring so many people from the field of marine measurement together and I’m very grateful to all those who have attended, presented, and helped in the organisation and delivery of such a great day. Feedback from delegates has been very positive with the presenters, attendees, and exhibitors all relishing the opportunity to connect with fellow industry professionals and visit NPL open water calibration tanks and the Acoustic pressure vessel, the whole day was a great success.’
The Steering Group for the Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) announces that the 60th MMF, held at the LandRover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) facility in Portsmouth was an all-round success with an entertaining programme matched by the wonders of the hi-tech venue. The MMF60 organisers, iXblue are to be congratulated on registering just short of 90 attendees and for assembling a diverse programme. A more detailed report on the day’s event will follow shortly.
The Steering Group always welcomes enquiries regarding the hosting of a future event. Presently, hosts have been confirmed for MMF62 and MMF63 as scheduled below:
MMF62 – Fugro. Date: 17 October 2018. Venue: Wallingford.
MMF63 – ecoSUB Robotics. Date: Spring 2019. Venue: TBA.
The schedule will be updated with confirmed dates and host contact details at regular intervals. Event notices will be issued via the MMF mailing list, International Ocean Systems journal, OceanBuzz newsletter and other media portals.
Each MMF event comprises a number of presentations by organisations and individuals involved in the many diverse aspects of the marine measuring sector. The management of the event, including venue and specific date, is for each host to decide but within guidelines provided by the Steering Group. The audience will generally comprise a cosmopolitan mix of researchers, surveyors, engineers and manufacturers all of whom have a common interest in the art/science of maritime data gathering. The MMF series has continually proven to be very popular, with attendee numbers generally around the 50-60 mark and hosting undoubtedly provides an opportunity to highlight specific skills, capabilities, projects and developments.
The list of past hosts reads like a who’s who of the maritime world and the MMF Steering Group anticipates a strong desire to see the tradition continued. Expressions of interest can be received from past hosts or those new to the activity. There are reports and images from previous events and comprehensive guidelines for hosts on this site. Those wishing to put their names forward can initially email Steering Group representative Roger Scrivens from the contact page, ideally stating “Hosting an MMF event” in the subject line.
If you’ve visited the MMF website previously, you will have noticed a change in appearance. This has been precipitated by some changes on our server, requiring a rapid temporary update. Please bear with us as we rebuild the site and restore more of the content.
MMF Steering Group bids fond farewell to Astrid Powell
At the recent 59th Marine Measurement Forum (MMF), attendees witnessed the retirement of longstanding Steering Group member Astrid Powell who was presented with a bouquet of flowers to mark the occasion. Astrid was one of the four founder members of the MMF Steering Group which was formed in 2005 to oversee and guide the fortunes of the series. Having retired recently from her role as publisher at Underwater World Publications Ltd (publications include International Ocean Systems and Underwater Contractor international), Astrid felt that the time was right for her to make way for new blood within the Steering Group.
The MMF Steering Group is delighted to announce that Astrid’s place has been taken by Helen Atkinson who is quaintly described as Operations and Publications Manager at The Hydrographic Society UK but is known and respected by members and non-members alike as the person who makes sure all the Society’s many activities run smoothly.
The other Steering Group members, Andy Smerdon, Aidan Thorn and Roger Scrivens, wish Astrid a well-earned, happy retirement and offer a hearty welcome to Helen.
Full House at MMF59
Our 59th meeting took place on Friday 7th July at the BP Upstream Learning Centre in Sunbury-on-Thames and was hosted by The Hydrographic Society UK (THS UK).
Amongst the eleven presentations topics included Crowdsourced Bathymetry, Safe Fishing in UK Waters, the use of Marine Mammals as Observation Platforms and a look at a completely new Biofouling Technique for the Marine Environment. A full report on the day’s proceedings along with presentation downloads (as available) will be published here in due course and announced via the normal media outlets.
All present agreed that the sell-out event was a great success combining a diverse programme of presentations with an excellent venue. Congratulations are offered to the organisers, The Hydrographic Society UK.
Pictures to Follow
58th Marine Measurement Forum at PML – September 2016
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) hosted the 58th Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) over a two day period in mid-September when delegates were afforded the opportunity to visit the wide range of marine science facilities that Plymouth has to offer ahead of the seminar itself. On 14th September attendees were invited to join the PML hosts at the Plymouth University Marine Station for tours of the station’s facilities and the research vessels of PML, Plymouth University, the Marine Biological Association and Sonardyne Ltd. This provided a great opportunity to showcase the wealth of local collaborative resources that the area offers to both marine science and industry. As is usually the case the sun was shining in Plymouth and a well-attended evening BBQ, hosted by PML, concluded an enjoyable day allowing great networking opportunities.
The main MMF event was held the next day in PML’s modern conference facility. With approximately 70 delegates present Professor Stephen de Mora, PML’s Chief Executive, welcomed attendees and introduced the impressive programme of thirteen presentations. The first talk of the day was given by Elizabeth Paull from Aquatec Group who discussed applications for underwater optical communication devices. Following Elizabeth was Robert Camp from SAHFOS, who presented on the use of a Flow Cam Macro for rapid quantification and identification of zooplankton captured on their suite of Continuous Plankton Recorders (CPRs). To round up the first session Carlos Campos from Cefas presented a satellite based approach to monitoring harmful algal blooms and water quality for shellfish farming. After the first of the day’s productive networking breaks the second session commenced, focusing on autonomous systems for data collection. Sam Forbes, RS Aqua, showcased integrated sensors for fisheries’ applications using a Liquid Robotics autonomous Wave Glider. Continuing the theme of unmanned surface vessels Mike Poole from AutoNaut and Phil Johnston from Seiche presented their collaborative work on autonomous passive acoustic monitoring. They were followed by Jim Gardner from Valeport who reported on interesting local applications for the RapidCast system which enables underway acquisition of high resolution speed of sound measurements. The concluding talk of this session was given by George Graham from SAHFOS, who discussed his work in integrating additional autonomous sensors to the laboratory’s fleet of aforementioned CPRs.
After lunch Roger Scrivens, speaking on behalf of the MMF Steering Group, updated the audience on plans for MMF 59 through to MMF 61 in 2017 and 2018. Lucy Maclennan, Fugro EMU, then presented work that the company had completed on a Poole Bay nearshore replenishment trial followed by Stuart Slade, Sonardyne, who provided an update on the company’s capabilities in seabed geodesy. To round up this session, Martin Bishop from Emeritus Solutions reviewed his work on thermionic valves and underwater acoustics. After another boisterous networking break Stephen Taylor from Geomatrix opened the final session by presenting on a Heuristic Tidal Advisor which turned out to be a novel method for tidal prediction. Then Jim Gardner, Valeport, returned to the stage for his second presentation of the day when he reviewed a recent local tidal surge, which caused the sinking of several small boats in a Plymouth marina. Jim’s detective work led him to conclude that the likely source of this surge was a series of large thunderstorms moving up the English Channel. The day’s final talk was given by Tim Smyth from PML who presented some recent work on autonomous monitoring of ship’s emissions.
The programme was closed by PML’s James Fishwick who had headed up the organising team. He thanked all the speakers for what had been a very interesting and informative series of presentations. Attendees were then granted the opportunity to tour PML’s many areas of interest including the new state-of-the-art single cell genomics facility (a joint project with the University of Exeter); the mesocosm facility; the seawater hall, highlighting some of PML’s plankton research; and a high level overview of the work of PML’s world-class remote sensing group.
The Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) is a series of one-day, non-profit making events that provides opportunities for the informal exchange of ideas, knowledge, techniques and developments across an extensive range of marine scientific measurement activities. Attendees typically include scientists, surveyors, engineers and business people from a variety of organisations including research centres, academia, manufacturers, survey companies, consultants, monitoring authorities, dredging companies, port authorities, oil companies, societies, etc. Each MMF is normally hosted within southern England with occasional excursions to other parts of the UK.
Format: The event covers a single day and is organised such that the average attendee can travel to and from the venue on the same day. Frequency is targeted at 6 monthly intervals.
Steering Group: An ad hoc Steering Group comprising four long term and regular MMF attendees, representing Research, Manufacturing, Media and Distribution within the marine science market place, is charged with guiding the fortunes of the MMF series.
Attendees: As noted above, all who have an interest in the subject matter (specifically or generally) are welcome to attend.
Host Organiser: A volunteer host is appointed for each MMF. This host will be responsible for compiling the programme for the day, advertising it to the MMF membership and promoting it to the appropriate market places. Support will be provided by the Steering Group. Hosts are appointed either by the Steering Group or via recommendation from each present host. A future “host list” is maintained by the MMF Steering Group.
Presentations: A number of 15-20 minute presentations will normally form the bulk of the day’s proceedings. As noted above, it is the host’s responsibility to invite, select and schedule the speakers with the target being to provide a programme offering a balance between scientific research, instrumentation, survey projects, etc. It is preferred that overtly sales based presentations are avoided. The success of the MMF series is founded on the varied range of presentations and that, in turn, is a reflection of the volunteer speakers. The host will monitor the market place for new developments, projects etc to encourage speakers with novel tales to tell. Traditionally the final programme is announced at least 2 weeks before the event date.
Venue: The choice of venue lies with the host but is normally selected to be easily accessible to the majority of the attendees. A typical venue will be capable of accommodating between 50 – 100 attendees, will provide ample parking spaces, will offer all normal audio/visual presentation facilities and be capable of providing refreshments, inc lunch.
Cost: The MMF is a non-profit making series. The target attendee price is £40-50 which normally includes the provision of light refreshments. Bookings are only confirmed against full payment to the host.
Web site: The MMF site (www.mmf-uk.org) hosts general and specific information regarding the MMF series. It also provides a link to the web site of the next MMF host.
Announcements: Email is the core medium for circulating information about the MMF. An MMF mailing list is maintained and used to distribute information regarding each event. Additions to the list can be made via the website. Regular MMF information is also distributed via International Ocean Systems journal and the electronic newsletter.