National Institute of Ocean Technology

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National Institute of Ocean Technology
Agency overview
Formed November 1993
Jurisdiction Government of India
Headquarters Chennai, Tamil Nadu
12°56′48″N 80°12′40″E / 12.946656°N 80.211007°E / 12.946656; 80.211007Coordinates: 12°56′48″N 80°12′40″E / 12.946656°N 80.211007°E / 12.946656; 80.211007
Agency executive Dr. M. A. Atmanand, Director
Parent agency Ministry of Earth Sciences

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was established in November 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. NIOT is managed by a Governing Council and the Director is the head of the Institute. The institute is based in Chennai.

The primary mission of NIOT is to develop a scientific understanding of oceans, coasts and marine life, and to develop technology for the sustenance and environmentally sound applications of physical and biological resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).[1]

The institute operates a fleet of coastal and oceanic research vessels, as well as data-collecting buoys in the Indian Ocean. NIOT was responsible for the recent archeological find of an ancient civilization off the coast of western India. (See Marine archaeology in the Gulf of Cambay.)


Deep Sea Mining[edit]

The deep ocean has abundant mineral resources like polymetallic nodules, cobalt rich manganese crust and hydrothermal deposits. Utilising this mineral wealth for the benefit of mankind will be the focus of ocean mining activities in this century. Deep sea technology and ocean mining group of NIOT has been actively involved in the development of technology for Polymetallic nodule mining from 6000m water depth. The Polymetallic nodules containing copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese are viewed as potential resources to meet the increasing demand for these metals in our country. India has a status of pioneer investor and has been allotted a site in the Central Indian Ocean Basin by the International Sea Bed Authority (ISBA) for exploration and exploitation of polymetallic nodules

Energy & Fresh Water[edit]

The main area of focus of the group is the utilization of the ocean resources to find alternative technologies for fresh water and renewable energy. Currently the group is working on three specific areas, fresh water production using low temperature thermal desalination (LTTD) process, and energy production using two distinctly different processes, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and Wave Energy.

In 2001, NIOT has operated a pilot 1MW ocean thermal energy conversion plant installed on the barge Sagar Shakthi.[2]

Desalination by LTTD process: The concept of the variation in the ocean water temperature with an increase in depth is used in the Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) to flash evaporate the warm water at low pressure and condense the resulting vapour with the deep sea cold water. Starting from a small laboratory based 5m3/day capacity scale model, the group has successfully commissioned one 100m3/day capacity land based plant at Kavaratti and one 1000m3/day capacity floating barge based desalination plant off the coast of Chennai.

National Data Buoy Programme[edit]

The National Databuoy Programme is coming under Ocean Observation systems. The National Data Buoy Programme was established at NIOT in 1997, to collect real-time meteorological and oceanographic data to and help predict short and long-term climatic changes. It also serves as a tsunami warning system. It consists of a network of data-collection buoys in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The programme was expanded following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.[3]

In December 2009, a new group was formed at NIOT to develop low-cost technology for meteorological and oceanographic buoys. Among the buoys developed by the group is the low cost meteorological buoy, called the Spar buoy, made using low-density polyethylene which collects humidity, wind and surface temperature information and communicates with a data relay transponders on the INSAT system. Another development from the group is the AUPD, an autonomous underwater profiling drifer buoy, which collects sub-surface temperature and salinity data. In addition, the group has also developed a moored bottom pressure recorder which calculates tides and can provide tsunami warning information.[4]


NIOT owns and operates coastal oceanographic research ships ORV Sagar Purvi and ORV Sagar Paschimi, designed by the National Ship Design Research Centre, Visakhapatnam. Its ocean-going research ships include, ORV Sagar Manjusha and ORV Sagar Nidhi.[5] It also manages MV Sagar Shakthi, a prototype floating 1MW ocean thermal energy conversion plant.[2]


  1. ^ Mission Statement. NIOT (2012-10-17). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  2. ^ a b Operational Programs > Vessel Management Cell > Introduction. NIOT (2012-10-17). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  3. ^ Operational Programs > Ocean Observation Systems > Introduction. NIOT (2012-10-17). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  4. ^ Technology Groups > Ocean Electronics > Introduction. NIOT (2012-10-17). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  5. ^ Fincantieri Launches Indian Navy Ship. (2010-10-14). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.

External links[edit]