Our aim is to better understand how changing physical and chemical conditions in UK Shelf Seas affects the marine ecosystem and ocean health.


AlterEco will deploy small fleets ocean robots, including submarine gliders and surface vehicles, to provide a continuous measurement campaign in the North Sea between November 2017 and January 2019. Combined with observations and modelling from a variety of complementary projects, AlterEco will attempt to provide atmosphere-through-ocean coverage of North Sea conditions at scales from centimetres to 100s of kilometres and seconds to the full winter-to-winter cycle.

Our robots will help UK scientists and international partners to better define the key indicator parameters that we need to measure and understand to assess shelf-sea-wide ecosystem health and to help define good environmnetal status (GES).


The AlterEco Project will:

  1. Use the latest robotic technology to provide measurements of ocean processes to better understand how variability in the atmosphere affects the functioning of the shelf sea ecosystem.
  2. Provide the tools necessary for informing ocean forecasting models of the stressors on and consequences of the environmental status of shelf seas.
  3. Trial a modular, integrated framework for a new, efficient and diagnostic ocean monitoring system that has global transferability.


To develop a novel monitoring framework to deliver improved spatial and temporal understanding of key shelf sea drivers for the investigation of the shelf sea ecosystem functioning.

Discover more about AlterECO →


Develop a novel monitoring framework to deliver improved understanding in time and space shelf sea ecosystem health and functioning.

25 sceintists, 5 missions and 17 ocean robots graphic
Will travel 25000 miles graphic
Collecting 32000 hours of data graphic

Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems

The Glider used in the AlterEco project can be tracked using the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems Portal. When the Glider are deployed their position and mission can found and followed. This gives a real-time perspective into what the Gliders are doing and where.