Plenary Sessions

Marine Autonomy: Where we are, Where we have been and Where we are going.

Prof. Hanumanth Singh, Northeastern University.
Abstract: Autonomy on land is pushing the limits of Machine Learning, AI and Robotics. While this is a relatively recent occurrence, the marine community has by necessity been working on Autonomous Vehicles for far longer and with far greater constraints. Underwater vehicles need to be truly autonomous due to constraints on acoustic bandwidth. Our work is conducted in extremely harsh environments including the depths of the ocean and under ice. A variety of other constraints including imaging, navigation and power make problems underwater far more difficult. Using real world examples from deployments with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (*AUVs), and Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs) this talk highlights what we have achieved as a community, the problems that we are on currently facing and the exciting future that we will be embracing in the next ten years.
Hanumant Singh is a Professor at Northeastern University (NU) where he is also the Director of the multidisciplinary Center for Robotics at NU. He received his Ph.D. from the MIT WHOI Joint Program in 1995 after which he worked on the Staff at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution until 2016 when he joined Northeastern. His group has designed and built the Seabed AUV, as well as the Jetyak Autonomous Surface Vehicle dozens of which are in use for scientific and other purposes across the globe. He has participated in 60 expeditions in all of the world’

Ocean exploration in a new decade — adaptation of autonomous technology to achieve wider data coverage, superior resolution and a reduced carbon footprint.

Mr Sean Fowler, Director of Business Development, Ocean Infinity
Abstract: Advances in subsea technology, in particular around deepwater autonomous vehicles, are allowing seafloor data to be collected at previously unseen and remarkable high- resolution. When the same autonomous vehicles are operated simultaneously in a group, wide areas of seabed can be investigated, unlocking a new approach to deep sea wreck search, exploration and environmental baseline surveys. In this talk we will look at the technology, techniques, challenges and data images collected through the deployment of multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) during the search for the missing Argentinean submarine ARA SAN JUAN and other recent deepwater exploration projects. We will also consider how developments in marine sensor autonomy can help to reduce carbon emissions compared to traditional oceanographic vessels and methods.

Sean has 25 years’ experience in the offshore industry, including executive level experience involving subsea technology start-ups, contract management, finance and M&A. He has held a variety of senior operational and management roles within multi-national companies including SSI, Fugro and UTEC. He holds a degree in Physical Oceanography from the University of Washington. Currently, Sean is the Director of Business Development at Ocean Infinity, a high-tech marine exploration company established in 2016. Ocean Infinity are industry pioneers in the collection and delivery of high-resolution seabed data through simultaneous deployment of multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) from a single vessel.

Ocean Infinity’s recent high-profile projects include the deepwater search for missing Malaysian airliner MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean and the discovery of missing Argentinian Navy submarine ARA San Juan in the South Atlantic. Sean is currently expanding Ocean Infinity into subsea markets in the seabed minerals, energy, search, defense and submarine telecom industries.

Sponsoring Societies