In November 2019 I travelled to Horten a small town about an hour’s drive from Oslo, for the 2019 CIUS (Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions) conference. Horten has a rich naval history and the conference hotel reflected that with many artefacts and portraits adorning its walls. The conference included many interesting talks ranging from underwater sonar (my area of research) to medical imaging. There was also a guided tour round GE’s medical ultrasound manufacturing facility, and Kongsberg Maritime’s sonar production and testing facility. I was able to see first-hand the Hugin autonomous underwater vehicle from which the data I will be using for my PhD was gathered.
The conference was also an opportunity to meet with a collaborating partner at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and the University of Oslo. Together with my academic supervisor we discussed the inception of my PhD project on the autonomous remediation of unexploded ordnance dumped at sea. It is estimated more than 700,000 tons of chemical weapons were dumped at sea after World War II. Monitoring these vast underwater dumpsites presents a significant technical challenge. AI is expected to play an important role in meeting this challenge through autonomous analysis and interpretation of the large volumes of survey data. We have established a collaboration to work on this problem with application to a particular dumpsite in the North Sea.
I was also able to present my research into imaging breaking ocean waves, which was conducted as a research assistant at Bath over the summer. In conclusion it was an extremely enjoyable trip, and was an important first step for my PhD research.
Integrated PhD, Accountable, Responsible and Transparent Artificial Intelligence