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MMF64 at RS Aqua

After a 2+ year break, the long-standing MMF series of events has finally returned. MMF64 will be held in person in Port Solent Marina (Portsmouth, UK) on 6th July 2022.

The MMF is a series of one-day, non-profit events that provides opportunities for the informal exchange of ideas, knowledge and developments across the marine measurement and ocean technology industries. Businesses and Institutions across the UK ocean technology sector take turns to host MMF meetings, and RS Aqua have been selected to host MMF64.

RS Aqua are now calling for speakers to submit abstracts for presentation on the day. Ten speakers will be selected, and the theme for this event will be cross-sector collaboration. Presentations that feature insightful stories about collaborative activities are particularly encouraged.

Please send speaker abstracts / talk summaries to marketing@rsaqua.co.uk by 11th May at the latest.

We are also now accepting registration for attendance at the event (here), which includes all day access, multiple networking breaks, lunch and refreshments and more, all for £37.50 (plus VAT) per person. The event is non-profit, with any surplus income to be donated to charity (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

The events venue in Port Solent Marina can comfortably cater for up to 100 people but not more, so don’t delay, book your ticket today!

To register, visit the RS Aqua website or the Eventbrite page.

MMF 63

Unmanned systems loom large at MMF 63

From basin-wide acoustic monitoring systems to unmanned surface vessel (USV) survey and data gathering operations, great in-roads are being made into how much we know about the oceans.
Some of these progressions were shared at the 63rd Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) held in late September 2020, hosted by underwater technology specialist Sonardyne International Ltd at the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) museum in Hampshire. The event was chaired by Sonardyne’s Geraint West – Global Business Manager, Oceanographic – and highlighted how an increasing amount of work is being performed using USVs and also via basin-wide collaborative monitoring efforts and new sensor developments, enabling researchers and industry to sense more with single platforms.Speakers included representatives from (all UK) the Nekton Foundation; AutoNaut; the National Oceanography Centre; Chelsea Technologies; the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS); Plymouth Marine Laboratory; HR Wallingford; the National Physics Laboratory; R&V Hazlewood Associates; Sonardyne International and, from Ireland, XOCEAN.
The diverse programme is only selectively reviewed here and opened with Phil Johnston, AutoNaut’s Business Manager, discussing his company’s involvement in the Ocean Cleanup project. An AutoNaut USV is being used to monitor a 600m-long boom with a skirt that’s being developed to gather up plastics floating on the ocean, such as in the 1.6 million sq km “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. Phil reported that the project’s aim is to have 60 systems operating globally.
Dr David Pearce from CEFAS explained how his organisation is assessing the benefits of the Liquid Robotics (USA) autonomous Wave Glider to enhance its work monitoring marine fish stocks and zooplankton. The Wave Glider, named “Lyra”, has been deployed on several long-duration missions and, as Dr Pearce commented “Fish is big; it’s feeding people and there’s a lot of work to be done”.
James Ives, CEO of XOCEAN reported on the use of USVs for another industry – oil and gas production. “XOCEAN is an ocean data company,” James told the event, “we collect and sell data. We just use something different to collect that data; USVs.” Successfully completed contracts to date include projects for the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency, BP and the PX Group.
Away from the sea environment, Neil Crossouard from HR Wallingford outlined the usage of its two-person deployed, 2m-long ARC-Boat to survey inland waterways and ports/harbours. Neil outlined a project to trial sonar and assess different grades of positioning and motion compensation systems, so that the optimum instrumentation is used based on a survey’s requirements, including testing performance going underneath a bridge when satellite links were lost.
A testbed to further prove emerging marine autonomous systems and marine technology innovation is growing around the south coast of England with the launch of Smart Sound Plymouth. Dr James Fishwick, from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, updated the audience with news that Smart Sound covers >1000 sq km of authorised and de-conflicted water space in water depths down to 80m and expanded on the recent commitment to acquire comprehensive baseline monitoring equipment and systems.
The MMF audience also heard about Nekton Foundation’s ‘First Descent’ mission in the Seychelles and the use of Sonardyne International’s ‘BlueComm’ to broadcast live news bulletins to the world from manned submersibles subsea.
Marine noise monitoring, multi-parameter fluorometers, harbour wall overtopping detection and studies of ground waves caused by offshore construction operations were amongst the topics covered by other presenters during the duration of the forum.
MMF63 was held at Farnborough Air Science and Technology museum in Farnborough, a site which preserves history with archival and buildings dating back to 1906 including a 24ft wind tunnel, later upgraded to be transonic.
Sadly, the 64th MMF, scheduled to be part of the Marine Tech Expo in Plymouth June 2020, has become a victim of the Coronavirus pandemic and will be rescheduled for a future date. For further news in that respect, please keep an eye on this site.

Future Marine Measurement Forum Events

The MMF Steering Group welcomes enquiries regarding the hosting of future MMFs. Presently we have hosts booked for events MMF64 to MMF66 as scheduled below:

MMF64: RS Aqua
MMF65: ecoSUB
MMF66: Aquatec Group

This schedule will be updated with date, venue, registration and host contact information at regular intervals.

Farewell Astrid

MMF Steering Group bids fond farewell to Astrid Powell

Astrid Powell

At the 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.