Frontiers in Undersea Seafloor Science and Engineering Workshop: FUSE 2018, June 21st-22nd, Northeastern University, Boston

As part of NSF’s Advancing Frontiers in Seafloor Science and Engineering Research, we will be holding the FUSE (The Future of Seafloor Science and Engineering) Workshop at Northeastern University in Boston on June 21-22.

The marine seafloor science community faces serious challenges in working at depth the oceans.

The rapid attenuation of the electromagnetic spectrum means that a number of critical technologies available on land including wireless networks, RF communications, and GPS navigation are not available underwater. These difficulties are compounded by requirements for dealing with immense pressure in the deep parts of the world’s oceans and the remote nature of most deep deployments which often require long term untended operations.

Energy storage is another issue due to cold temperatures at depth and the temporal scales for operations which are comparable to self discharge rates for most battery chemistries.

On land however, the last decade has seen remarkable progress in sensor development networking and platforms. Research is now producing sensors in the nanowatt regime that are capable of stable operation over long periods of time and over large temperature variations. These sensors are forming the backbone of advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT). Further advances in networking also hold huge potential for underwater applications even though the underlying basis for communications underwater is acoustic as opposed to based on the electromagnetic spectrum. Energy harvesting from the environment and inductive charging underwater are other areas that have seen considerable progress in recent times.

Autonomous manipulation, sample return and in-situ sample characterization are all within the realm of possibility. Biodegradable electronics are another active area of research.

These efforts all have the possibility of making significant impact to marine seafloor science.

This workshop will address the need to bring these two diverse communities of researchers along with industrial partners with the aim of defining a roadmap that addresses the technology needs and gaps for seafloor science over the next ten years.

Housing on campus at Northeastern will be available for all non local participants. We also anticipate providing a limited number of travel grants for attendees.

As part of our commitment to early career researchers we will strive to provide daycare for young parents participating in the workshop.

FUSE 2018 is an expert-driven event organized by a highly interdisciplinary group of faculty utilizing these tools for diverse applications.

Advisory Committee:

Workshop Organizers