National Oceanography Centre
Southampton SO14 3ZH
Wholly owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the NOC was formed by bringing together the NERC-managed activity at Liverpool’s Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, creating the UK’s leading institution for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development. The new centre works in close partnership with institutions across the UK marine science community.
A central goal of NERC’s strategy is the creation of more integrated research communities to tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our age, with marine science making a vital contribution. The National Oceanography Centre is working with its partners to address key science challenges including sea level change, the oceans’ role in climate change, predicting and simulating the behaviour of the oceans through computer modelling, development, the future of the Arctic Ocean and long-term monitoring technologies.
A major element of the new approach is seeing the NOC develop a strategic network of Partners and Associates - at universities and research institutes - working collaboratively with the centre in its support of world-class research, technology development and training the scientists of the future. Together, these organisations form the NOC Association, sharing in the delivery of NERC marine science priorities.
The NOC focus is on providing capability to meet the needs of the whole of the country’s marine research community,including Royal Research Ships, deep submersibles, advanced ocean sensors and instruments. It will also be home to the global mean sea level data archive, the UK’s sea level monitoring system for flood warning and climate change, the national archive of subsea sediment cores (key to the understanding of historic climate change) and the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Making sure that these facilities are responsive to the requirements of the wide range of users are at the heart of the centre’s approach to delivering national capability.
Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems
On 1 April 2012 a new facility came into being within Sea Systems – Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS).
MARS is being created with a clear purpose: "To deliver National Capability in Autonomous Vehicles in an impartial and transparent manner to the UK’s marine science community, incorporating operations, research and development and to provide a focal point and champion for this community, raising its profile and impact with key stakeholders, research funding bodies and the public."
The initial vehicle fleet will comprise the three members of the Autosub family and a total of eleven undersea gliders. MARS staff will undertake research and development projects as well as providing operational support to science programmes.