|The Ocean Bottom Instrumentation Consortium (OBIC), established in 2002, is a collaboration between universities which have long track records in marine geophysical research and seabed instrument development and use. OBIC aims to provide the academic community with access to multi-sensor, versatile seabed instruments to enable sub-surface geophysical imaging at high vertical and lateral resolution. Since its inception, OBIC has provided data acquisition services to support the research activities of UK and international academics, as well as UK and EU-based companies.
OBIC’s suite of seabed geophysical instrument platforms, now numbering more than 50, are supported by dedicated engineering staff whose roles also include instrument development and sea-going technical support. OBIC is managed by personnel who are recognised as international experts in their field with over 60 years of combined sea-going experience and wide-ranging research interests.
At the forefront of equipment capability and provision, OBIC is also developing platforms to provide contemporaneous recording of multi-data types, which in turn minimises associated ship time. It also offers training to the next generation of geophysicists in instrumentation, experimental design, data analysis and modelling, and is complementary to the SEIS-UK and Geophysical Equipment Pool (GEP) nodes of the NERC’s Geophysical Equipment Facility (GEF).
The Consortium’s goal is therefore to support marine geoscience by providing instrumentation and technical support to the research community, industry and other organisations. OBIC are also interested in establishing research collaborations or commisioned research on behalf of others.
In summary the services that OBIC aim to deliver are:
1. Design, development and operation of a facility comprising modern and serviceable seabed geophysical instrument platforms suitable for application to a wide range of field-based data acquisition programmes within the earth sciences.
2. Advice and training in the planning and execution of marine geophysical experiments and the operation of the associated seabed instrumentation.
3. Support tailored to suit science applications.
4. Flexible equipment scheduling to support acquisition demands at short notice via air freight, shipping, or service agreements with other international providers.
5. De/mobilisation and shipping of equipment to/from ports of call, coupled with professional technical support for equipment operation at sea.
6. Training of users in equipment use during data acquisition at sea, or pre-cruise training embedded in instrument trials cruises.
7. Long-term archiving of acquired data in raw and standard data formats.
8. Advice and training on the formatting, archiving, processing and modelling of the resulting data.
9. Access to data processing and modelling facilities.
10. Bespoke research and development of equipment to suit project specifications.