Sulmara Subsea showcasing their methodologies and technology platform to students on
the BSc Ocean Exploration and MSc Hydrography courses. Students standing on a dock looking at t red modern boat. 

An innovative international company has worked with the University of Plymouth to advance the development of its autonomous offshore survey technology.

Sulmara Subsea, which has bases across the world, spent two weeks working out of the University’s waterfront Marine Station on a series of expeditionary trials.

Specifically, this focused on tests of the company’s DriX USV platform, which it believes has the potential to reduce both the time and costs involved in surveying offshore renewable energy installations, decarbonising these operations in the process.

Technical specialists provided support to Sulmara during their trials thanks to the University’s involvement in the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

This included providing access to a remote operation centre facility within the Marine Station, to support the company’s remote environmental survey operations. The University also offered support boats to ensure the effectiveness of the trial and maintain safety.

The company also engaged the next generation of the marine workforce by showcasing their methodologies and technology platform to students on the BSc (Hons) Ocean Exploration and Surveying and MSc Hydrography courses.

Mr Steve Rice, Project and Knowledge Exchange Manager in the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, added:
“The students involved in working with Sulmara have benefitted considerably from their time spent with the company. In that sense, this partnership has reinforced that the University is uniquely placed to offer students hands-on experience with the cutting edge tools of the future in the marine environment. It is also aiding our own journey in remote operations, and we are already working towards building a mutually beneficial future relationship.”
Sulmara Subsea’s aim is to be at the forefront of shaping the global offshore energy sector towards a more sustainable net zero future.
Simon Adams, Maritime Supervisor at Sulmara, said:
“In terms of our working relationship with the University this was a fantastic start, and the Marine Station was a perfect base to work from. The trials themselves went incredibly well, and have provided information and data that will be hugely beneficial for our future platform development. I think future collaborations of this type will be beneficial for both parties, and will yield much more interaction between university staff and students and Sulmara.”

The work with Sulmara reinforces the University’s reputation for world-leading marine and maritime research and teaching, and innovative industry collaborations that are being used to solve real world problems.

Both organisations are also part of the Future Autonomous at Sea Technologies (FAST) Cluster, which is pioneering the development and delivery of innovative marine autonomous solutions, such as platforms, sensors, advanced power systems and communication networks.

These are then trialled within Smart Sound Plymouth, Britain’s premier proving area for designing, testing and developing cutting edge products and services for the marine sector.

Sulmara Subsea showcasing their methodologies and technology platform to students on the BSc Ocean Exploration and MSc Hydrography courses. Students sitting at desks in a classroom watching a tv screen at the front with a red boat on it. 

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