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How a Devon company helps to address Climate Change

By Mark Burnett , Director – Special Operations at Seiche Water Technology Group Ltd

Climate change poses a significant threat to our world, with rising sea levels, increased natural disasters, and disrupted ecosystems. To combat this global challenge, we must understand the changes occurring in our oceans. This is where the remarkable AutoNaut Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV) comes into play. Developed locally by a company with its base in Holsworthy, this shows how local technology is making a difference on the global stage.

The AutoNaut USV is a revolutionary technology for ocean exploration that harnesses wave energy for propulsion and solar energy to power its navigation, sensor, and communication systems. It operates without someone needing to operate it directly, gliding across the water’s surface, and gathering crucial data about the ocean and its surrounding environment. This technology offers valuable insights into the ocean’s role in climate change and has the key advantage of working tirelessly without the need to refuel or require frequent maintenance. This makes it a perfect tool for studying the ocean under any weather conditions and enables us to examine ocean currents, measure temperature and salinity levels, monitor changes in acidity, and observe the impacts of climate change on marine life.

In order to understand climate change and its impacts on our communities we need to unlock some of the Ocean’s secrets. Recent scientific expeditions have used the AutoNaut USV in the Atlantic Ocean to investigate the effects of climate change on ocean circulation. The device collected vital data on ocean temperature, and levels of salt in the water, and even recorded the sounds of marine mammals close by. The information gathered has enhanced our understanding of oceanic changes and helped in designing ways to reduce or slow down the effects of climate change.

Technology looks to play a significant role in the way we understand and tackle climate change. The AutoNaut USV represents an example of how innovative technology developed in North Devon can make a difference on the global stage. Collecting data about the ocean and the marine environment allows us to gain deeper insights into the evolving world and develop effective solutions to combat this global challenge. As technology advances, we can anticipate more innovative tools and devices for managing and moderating climate change.

Climate change is a massive issue for us all, the journey to unlock the secrets of the ocean will help us to protect our world. By embracing technology and innovation, encouraging people to train and develop skills in these areas, and by making our own small changes, we can all play a part in the guardianship of our planet, securing it for future generations.

On 22 June, the University Centre at Petroc is hosting Marine Futures Day. An event that showcases and promotes exciting new areas such as Floating Offshore Wind, Green Hydrogen, Renewables, Clean propulsion, aquaculture, ecology, marine vehicles, and technology. Register now for the Marine Futures community event.


07 June 2023


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