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 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). The project has a growing network of UK and global partners.
How We Work?
Our first approach is simple; we provide advice and tested mechanisms for ROV operators to become part-time marine biologists. We encourage them to be on the look-out for the strange animals that inhabit the ocean depths. Very little is known about the deep sea, so having a wide team of dedicated professionals with the right kind of skills sending in videos and stills quickly adds to our understanding of this mysterious frontier. Our database is regularly populated with these observations providing a world-class resource for the operators, the public and the marine science community.
For our second approach we arrange regular visits for SERPENT scientists to offshore oil and gas installations. These might be survey vessels, semisubmersible drilling rigs or production platforms. These visits are normally about a week in length and take place during periods when the ROVs are not required for industry operations on a continuous basis. The data are then sent back to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK) for detailed analysis with the ultimate aim of producing peer-reviewed publications.
Another important component of the SERPENT Project is to increase the awareness of the project to both scientific and non-scientific audiences. This website offers a constantly updated online resource, and we also offer printed annual reports as well as an online Newsletter. Media coverage (local, national and international) as well as public outreach events and programmes mean that we are able to distribute SERPENT information as widely as possible.