Oceanology International 2002: A New Home and an Improved Program

Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Regular visitors to this year’s Oceanology International (OI) will be surprised to learn that the Exhibition and Conference is moving to the ExCeL (Exhibition Center London) in London Docklands.

Since 1969 the Exhibition and Conference has been at the Brighton Metropole, emerging as the largest event in the marine science and ocean technology sector. This year OI, which will take place from March 5-8 , offers the 600 exhibitors from 50 countries and over 6,000 visitors unparalleled modern facilities in a waterfront environment in the heart of London, along with a collection of vessels that will be moored directly alongside the Exhibition. Many exhibitors plan the launch of new products and services to coincide with this meeting of the global marine science community. “Oceanology International 2002 breaks with a long tradition by moving from Brighton to London's ExCeL – a move driven by the continued growth of the scientific and industrial sector that it serves,” said show director Versha Carter.

The OI Conference is chaired by Dr. Ralph Rayner, chairman of the U.K. Marine Information Council and managing director of Fugro. The keynote will be given by Rt. Hon. Michael Meacher MP, Minister for the Environment, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Other speakers in the Plenary Session include Prof. Carl Wunsch, Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography, Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wunsch’s topic is “The Role of the Oceans in Climate Change.” Dr. D James Baker, former head of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will speak on “Operational Oceanography: Critical to Understanding Global Climate Change.”

Other sessions in the OI conference include “Survey,” with papers ranging from conducting bathymetry by airborne and/or satellite methods to significant developments in underwater acoustic positioning and inertial metrology. Two sessions will take place in the area of Operational Oceanography; Ocean Observing Systems, and Ocean Forecasting and Operational Data Products. The Instrumentation, Sensors and Systems Session includes a keynote contribution on “An Oceanographic Surveying Decision Aid (SDA) for Optimum Ocean Sampling Strategies” by Lt. Cdr. R. J. Rogers, RN Military Advisor, of QinetiQ (formerly DERA), U.K. A session on AUV/ROV and Profiler Technology will pull together a series of papers relating to ongoing technological research into a number of different oceanographic sensor platforms and their subsystems, including profiling buoys, ROVs, multi-AUV systems and large under-ice AUVs. This is followed by a Session on Underwater Imagery that will cover the use of new technologies to provide the stunning film sequences for series such as the BBC’s Blue Planet. The conference is drawn to a close by a fascinating session on Renewable Energies and Climate Change Mitigation, which aims to cover many of the key aspects of the planning, construction and operation of the offshore renewable energy sector

Alongside the main OI Conference, a series of Associated Meetings range from the Alliance for Marine Remote Sensing’s Operational Oceanography Symposium to a review of the revolutionary Autosub submersible’s missions. OI 2002 is the first in the series to have vessels moored directly alongside the exhibition. EGS International Ltd. is bringing the Wessex Explorer survey boat, which will tow a new seismic sub-bottom profiler and Gardline plans to showcase the 266-ft. (81-m) MV Ocean Seeker. GeoAcoustics Ltd. is bringing the Algier Rose, an inshore diving and survey vessel from which the firm’s engineers will demonstrate GeoSwath, a PC-based shallow-water, wide-swath-bathymetry system offering state-of-the-art performance at low cost and capable of producing a 3-D map of the dock. QinetiQ’s recently developed Mimir EV1 boat is designed for shallow water survey applications and operates without the need for an onboard pilot. Instructions are sent to the boat from a mobile command center and the onboard sensing technology is able to map the seabed and surroundings using an interferometric sonar system. QinetiQ's Trimaran Warship Demonstrator, Research Vessel RV Triton will be alongside and open to visitors to demonstrate its potential in survey applications. Rederij Waterweg will deploy Coastal Explorer, a 82-ft. (25-m) hydrographic survey vessel. With communication, survey, and navigation systems; a survey room; and minimum draft of only 75 cm., the vessel is perfectly suited for work in shallow waters. Sonardyne plans to bring Golden Salamander, while Svitzer Ltd. will showcase the 238 ft. (72.5-m) Svitzer Meridian, a fully equipped survey vessel carrying positioning systems, SSBL system, single and multibeam echosounders, side-scan sonar, profilers, seismic recording system, streamer, gun source, and digital QC system. More information about Oceanology International 2002 and the series of OI conferences in the U.S. and in Singapore is available from Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd., Coombe Hill House, Beverley Way, London SW20 0AR, U.K.; +44 (0)20 8949 9837 or go to http://www.oceanologyinternational.com/.

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