AUTOSUB Science Missions Thematic Programme - interdisciplinary data-set demonstrating the usefulness of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

Data set information

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Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
ProjectAutosub Science Missions
Time periodApril 1999 - May 2001
Geographical area

Focused on 6 regions: West Coast of Scotland; North-East Scotland and Shetlands; Southern North Sea (Norfolk Bank); Isles of Scilly; Strait of Sicily; North Weddall Sea


Horizontal spatial co-ordinates; Variable fluorescence parameters; Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column; Raw fluorometer output; Vertical velocity of the water column (currents); Dissolved metal concentrations in the water column; Phytoplankton taxonomic abundance in water bodies; Salinity of the water column; Horizontal velocity of the water column (currents); Seabed photography; Side-scan sonar; Concentration of suspended particulate material in the water column; Snow and ice mass, thickness and extent; Concentration of alkanes in the water column; Turbulence in the water column; Platform or instrument orientation; Visible waveband radiance and irradiance measurements in the water column; Transmittance and attenuance of the water column; Bathymetry and Elevation; Temperature of the water column


Fluorometers; current meters; radiometers; single-beam echosounders; underwater cameras; benthos samplers; salinity sensor; metal analysers; bench particle sizers; microstructure sensors; transmissometers; CTD; current profilers; sidescan sonars; dissolved gas sensors


This data set comprises hydrographic measurements including temperature, salinity, fluorescence, attenuance, dissolved oxygen concentrations and current velocities. Water samples were also collected for salinity and geochemical analysis, and the data set also includes bathymetric, sediment and upper ocean turbulence measurements. The data were collected over six Science Missions at the Strait of Sicily, West Coast of Scotland (Loch Etive and Loch Fyne), North-East Scotland and Shetland Islands, North Weddell Sea, Isles of Scilly, Southern North Sea (Norfolk Bank) over the period 19 April 1999 – 25 May 2001. The data were collected by both shipboard sensors and those attached to the Autosub (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) package. Shipboard data collection included deployment of a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) package with attached auxiliary sensors. Lowered acoustic Dopper current profilers (LADCPs) were also attached to the CTD frame, while discrete water samples were collected from the CTD stations. Oceanographic, bathymetric and sediment data were collected along the ship’s track. Autosub measurements included standard environmental parameters and acoustic instruments were used to measure ocean bottom relief at high resolution. A camera was also attached to the vehicle, permitting the collection of detailed photographs of the seabed. The broad aims of the Autosub Programme are the collection of interdisciplinary data sets that cannot be obtained by research ships, and demonstration to the scientific and wider user community of the usefulness of an AUV. Investigators: David A Smeed, Kate Stansfield, Julian Overnell, Kenny D Black, Peter Statham, Chris German, Andrew S. Brierley, Paul G. Fernandes, Mark A. Brandon, Alex Cunningham, Peter Burkill, Glen Tarran, Prof. Mike Collins, Dr George Voulgaris, Dr John Trowbridge, Dr Eugene Terray, Steve A Thorpe and Thomas Osborn. The British Oceanographic Data Centre holds the Autosub navigation files, CTD and ADCP data for each of the missions listed above. The data are contained as high resolution time series. The data are presently being processed and have not been fully quality controlled. The Autosub science missions brought together researchers and engineers from a number of UK institutions, with the project being coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

OriginatorsBritish Antarctic Survey
Fisheries Research Services, Aberdeen Marine Laboratory
Johns Hopkins University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
National Oceanography Centre (Southampton)
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Scottish Association for Marine Science
Southampton Oceanography Centre
University of South Carolina, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Coastal Processes & Sediment Dynamics Laboratory
University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science
University of Strathclyde, Department of Physics
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department
Data web site
OrganisationBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
ContactPolly Hadžiabdić (Head of the BODC Requests Team)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 (0)782 512 0946
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048089
Global identifier204
Last revised2017-02-01