September 2021 OES Beacon

From the Vice President for Workshops & Symposia (September 2021)

 Fausto Ferreira, Vice President for W&S

As you will see, it has been a busy summer for OES Workshops & Symposia! While the COVID-19 pandemic still impacts our workshops and symposia, several events took place this summer and the planning continues for 2022 (and 2023). A summary of what is happening follows but I recommend the reading of the full reports on China Ocean Acoustics and Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum elsewhere in this newsletter.

China Ocean Acoustics (COA) 2021

China Ocean Acoustics Conference 2021 was held from 14-17 July, 2021. The event, initially planned to be held in May 2020, had to be postponed to 2021 and organized as a hybrid meeting due to post-COVID situation. The conference was hosted by Harbin Engineering University, China, and was technically co-sponsored by IEEE Ocean Engineering Society. Conference program featured over 215 papers (accepted out of 470 submissions), 8 key-note talks, 22 invited lectures, industry stalls and an underwater technology innovation competition for students. More than 300 Chinese and foreign scholars from over 100 acoustic research institutes in the USA, UK, Russia, Norway, Pakistan and Taiwan discussed and exchanged ideas on cutting edge international research related to ocean acoustics, underwater communication and polar engineering.

Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum (ASOF) 2021

The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum (ASOF) 2021 was held on 5-6 August online. It hosted 22 talks with over 120 attendees gathered to focus on “Addressing Polar technology challenges for the coming decade.” This is a forum organized by the Polar Oceans Technology Committee (more info on After yet another successful edition, plans for a northern hemisphere conference in 2022/2023 have started to be made!

Underwater Communications and Networking (UCOMMS) 2021

By the time this newsletter gets published, the 2021 Fifth Underwater Communications and Networking (UCOMMS) will be finished for the first time in an online fashion (31 August – 2 September).  Even though this will be a virtual event with speakers from all over the corners of the world, the conference has been scheduled in a way that allows live presentations of all papers and ample time for Q&A. A report will be submitted to the next Beacon edition.

European Robotics League Emergency 2021 – virtual only

The virtual European Robotics League (ERL) Emergency 2021/Robotics for Asset Maintenance and Inspection (RAMI) competition will be launched this Fall.  Object detection and classification tasks will be proposed to the teams and the competition is open to not only marine robotics teams but also to students and researchers coming from the Intelligence (AI) domain. More information can be found in the website

Breaking the Surface 2021

The 13th International Interdisciplinary Field Workshop of Maritime Robotics and Applications – Breaking the Surface (BTS) 2021 – is taking place from the 29th of September to the 3rd of October in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. The OES University of Zagreb Student Branch Chapter co-organizes this workshop, and several Technical Committee members of the Autonomous Marine Systems TC are part of the Program Committee. More on and on the next edition of Beacon.

IEEE 9th International Conference on Underwater System Technology: Theory and Applications (USYS 2021)

USYS 2021 is currently being planned for the 6th to 8th of December in Melaka, Malaysia. More details will be made available in due course.

Symposium on Ocean Technology (SYMPOL) 2021

The International Symposium on Ocean Technology (SYMPOL) 2021 is planned to take place in Kochi, India, from the 9th to the 11th of December 2021. The call for papers will be closed by the time of printing, and the meeting is being planned as a hybrid event as of now. Please consult the website for the call for papers and all updates.

The Year Ahead

Looking towards 2022, we hope to have some opportunities to meet in some in-person conferences. We expect to have the RAMI 2022 competition in La Spezia, Italy, as well as the Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge – Singapore (SAUVC) immediately after our biennial AUV symposium. All these events are at the moment planned to take place in-person. Moreover, as mentioned before, we established a partnership with Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) 2022.

Ocean Sciences Meeting 2022

Since the last newsletter, OES and its members have been working towards a strong participation at OSM 2022. Seven session proposals and one town hall led by OES members have been submitted, and all seven sessions submitted have been accepted and one town hall submission is under review.    It is now time to submit the abstracts to these seven sessions. I encourage you to check the website and submit abstracts in particular to the OES-affiliated sessions and make OES presence at OSM stronger! If you wish to get involved and plan a special workshop/panel please contact Dr. Jay Pearlman or myself. OSM’22 will take place in Honolulu (and online) from the 27th of February to the 4th of March 2022 and more info can be found on

2022 IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) Symposium

The IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) 2022 is currently planned to take place in Singapore from the 19th to the 21st of September 2022. The initial announcement has been published and all information can now be found in the website

Planning the future

Other 2022 events are still under confirmation and will be announced soon. We started planning 2023 as well. As mentioned, the guidelines to hold workshops and symposia under OES (co-)sponsorship are currently being reviewed by a group of volunteers that I greatly thank. We hope to have the revised guidelines ready by the end of the year to help future organizers, especially in changing times. If you wish to get involved in current workshops, establish new partnerships, or propose new symposia, please contact me at We are here to serve the OES members and the larger community, and everyone is welcome to contribute and improve our workshops! Finally, a word of appreciation is due to all organizers that have been planning and executing workshops and conferences this year still under complex conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not easy to navigate in these uncertain times and they have done a tremendous job as shown in the reports of each event!