Skip to main content

Enabling Technology for Marine Ecological and Marine Sciences Studies



Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-17 - 2020-12-20

To provide marine biology, aquaculture, geo-chemical-geographical-archaeological and marine technology students with a better cross-disciplinary understanding of using instrument-carrying underwater-robots to generate marine ecological/science information and knowledge. The students will learn to use instrument-carrying platforms as future tools for an enhanced nature management and decision making. We will go through the use of different robotics platforms (AUV-Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, ROV-Remotely Operated Vehicles, USV-Unmanned surface vehicles) with respect to operation control and further use of instruments for specific operations/applications. We will use a suite of different optical and acoustic sensors on these robots for marine mapping and monitoring using underwater robotics in the Trondheimsfjord. In particular, concerning underwater robotics, the students will be introduced to design, configuration, and operate advanced platforms and sensors and guide, navigate and control systems for AUVs and ROVs. The underwater robots will be configured for marine mapping of bio-geo-chemical objects of interest, such as mapping of sea-floor habitats. Sections of special focus will be:

  • Mapping and monitoring of Norwegian coastal habitats reviews techniques to map any object of interest (OOI) of bio-geo-chemical origin. The OOI´s will focus on habitats, benthic fauna and algae for marine ecology. But the generic methodology may also be of interest for MSc and PhD students in marine biology, chemistry, geophysics, geology, geography, technology and archaeology.
  • Sensor technology reviews different sensor for navigation such as GPS, hydroacoustics, sonars, DVL, inertial navigation systems. Sensor for identification, mapping and monitoring of OOI, using acoustic and optical imaging systems will be the core of the course. Signal filtering techniques and fault-detection methods for the purpose of control and data processing will also be reviewed.
  • Underwater robotics will present principles and in-depth theory for guidance, navigation and control of AUVs and ROVs. Control architecture, controller design, mission planning, advanced control methods based on nonlinear control, hybrid control and optimization methods for multi-tasking operations such transit, maneuvering and dynamic positioning. Intelligent systems for mission planning, re-planning, collision avoidance and energy optimization leading to high-level autonomy for operation in extreme conditions will also be addressed.
  • Coastal operations will give the students insight in planning, preparation and execution of marine operations using advanced sensor technology and underwater robots. This includes logistics, handling of sensitive equipment.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the candidate should have:

Knowledge of theory, concepts, principles and procedures in using underwater instrument carrying robots to identify, map and monitor objects of interests, such as habitats and organisms. After completing the course, the candidate should have:

  • •Ability to plan and conduct marine research using underwater robotics
  • Overview of design, configuration, and hands-on operation of advanced platforms such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), focusing on marine biology/ecology at different habitats at ocean surface, water column and sea-floor.
  • •Be familiar with past and recent development of relevant methodology in the subject area, and based on this, be able to analyze new issues related to the marine environment and resources area
  • •Use and interpretation of sensor data will also be important part of course. Scientific questions will be developed during the course, and platforms / sensors deployed accordingly.
  • • In situ robotic sampling of selected organisms for laboratory work (eco-physiology).

Skills are the ability to apply knowledge to solve problems and tasks. After completing the course, the candidate should, based on new knowledge, be able to:

  • •Based on methodological knowledge, be able to critically evaluate different sources of information on new relevant methods that can be used in the assessments/studies of sea surface, water column and sea-floor habitats/ecosystems.
  • •Analyze and evaluate the scientific relevance and suitability of various methods for specific investigations of environmental and resource issues in coastal waters.
  • •Use new and established methods to independently determine ecological and chemical states as well as potential influences on environmental sustainability in coastal waters affected by human activity
  • •Participate in research project and under supervision be able to carry out an independent part of the work and report the results in a scientific format

General competence is to be able to apply knowledge and skills independently in different situations in educational and professional contexts by showing collaboration ability, responsibility, ability to reflect and critical thinking. Upon completion of the course, the candidate should, based on new knowledge and skills, be able to:

  • •Have an active relationship to relevant issues within the scientific basis of the field and with ethical issues of research, especially aimed to marine environmental issues related to sustainability
  • •Apply their knowledge and skills to carry out advanced projects and other tasks in their field, including tasks relevant to other marine ecosystems
  • •Master written and oral scientific rhetoric’s as a basis for dissemination and other communication
  • •Communicate academic issues and important conclusions within their methodical subject area with professional experts, colleagues and with the public
  • •Contribute to new concepts and methodology for mapping the environment and resources in marine sites, with a special focus on future automatic and autonomous environmental mapping and monitoring


ISCED Categories

Machinery and operators