Advances in ocean science depend on measurements in the ocean. Satellite observations only provide data for the surface layer of the ocean. To penetrate beyond the surface, we still need in-situ physical measurements from a range of platforms including: research ships, ocean observatories, moorings, and autonomous underwater and surface vehicles.

The NOC provides these facilities to the whole UK marine research community through the National Marine Equipment Pool (NMEP). While the ships are the most obvious of these, the NMEP is especially important in providing a full suite of equipment for oceanographic research.