SOCIB hosts the “GRASSMAP” scientific cruise funded by EUROFLEETS+

From September 14 to 19, the University of Southampton, together with the University of the Balearic Islands through the Systems, Robotics and Vision Group (SRV), and the University of Sydney will lead the scientific campaign “GRASSMAP” in the waters of the Marine Protected Area of Cabrera on board the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System research vessel (R/V SOCIB). As part of the campaign, researchers will carry out experiments with different autonomous systems: an autonomous underwater vehicle, an autonomous surface vehicle, and a lagrangian drifter. These different platforms will be deployed to demonstrate in situ capabilities for marine data collection and seabed exploration, targeting endemic seagrass mapping using artificial intelligence.

The scientific campaign is framed in the EU Funded project EUROFLEETS+ Transnational Access. SOCIB acts as the operator to make the research vessel available for the end-user as a platform to carry out the cruise, while the University of Southampton acts as the scientific leader.

As a requirement under the agreement established with EUROFLEETS+, the software EARS3, a desktop application to manually record the events of the marine scientific cruises on board the research vessels, has been installed by the SOCIB team on the R/V SOCIB and will be tested on September 10. Then, it will be tested again during the “GRASSMAP” scientific cruise.


EUROFLEETS+ is an H2020 project funded under the Infrastructures initiative, coordinated by the Marine Institute from Ireland that brings together a significant group of key marine research actors (in particular research vessel operators) in Europe, North America, and Oceania – 42 marine institutes, universities, foundations and SMEs from 24 countries, including SOCIB.