SERPENT, the UK deep sea research project, and Marine Simulation LLC, developers of cutting-edge simulation software today announced a new working partnership.
Collaborating closely with key players in the oil and gas industry, the "Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology" (SERPENT) project aims to make cutting-edge industrial Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) technology and data more accessible to the world's science community, share knowledge and progress deep-sea research. The programme interacts with science and conservation groups globally to communicate the project to the public, increasing the awareness of our fragile marine resources. SERPENT is a global project hosted by the DEEPSEAS group, within Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems (OBE) at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), UK. The project has a growing network of UK and global partners.
Marine Simulation LLC, based in North Carolina, USA, produces computer-based 3D simulations of surface and sub-surface craft for marine professionals and are the developers of the ROVsim® line of underwater robotic simulators. Using state-of-the art technologies originally developed for the video game industry and over 2 decades of hands on industry experience, their simulations deliver a level of visual and functional realism never before possible.
The collaboration will result in a dedicated ROVsim simulation package that closely mirrors SERPENT research activities in the deep oceans. SERPENT aims to monitor and collect data from the world's biodiversity hotspots by using oil and gas industry ROVs. The data consists principally of images and video, making virtual simulators ideal for emulating this activity.
The software will have its first trial as an outreach tool. Mounted on a sit-in ROV simulator it will form one of several outreach projects in the 2009 "Oceans on Wheels" Roadshow organized by the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics at the University of Southampton. The simulator will be a fun way for teenagers to understand how SERPENT contributes to our knowledge of the deep sea environment. SERPENT will also be using the software as part of a free training programme to ROV companies.
Dr. Daniel Jones, SERPENT Project Coordinator said "We're very excited about this new partnership. SERPENT will benefit hugely from being able to offer virtual missions of this kind, both as an outreach activity as well as to ROV pilots who I'm sure will welcome the chance to learn more about their deep sea working environment. We are very grateful to Marine Simulation LLC for their excellent support."