Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The oceans data collection platforms

My last post from the end of 2017 spoke to the number of sensors and devices that are currently, and becoming easily, available for data collection. This previous post focused more on the generic types of end-points and sensor technology. In this post we focus on the oceans and look at the variety of end-points used in the maritime environment.

Underwater Sensors
As previously identified there are a growing number of sensors and devices available for collecting data in all types of environments. This is also true for the growing number of "platforms" in which these sensors can be deployed. When we extend our view of sensors to include those used in oceans the list of data capture technologies grows. What is important, beyond the details of the data being emitted by these sensors, is how many are becoming a part of the digitization of oceans data "ecosystem". And with so many sensors, and therefore, so much data... a standardized approach and reference architecture defining the approaches to coalesce all this data will become increasingly important.

The oceans data collection "platforms"

Weather buoys
Weather buoys are instruments which collect weather and ocean data within the world's oceans, as well as aid during emergency response to chemical spills, legal proceedings, and engineering design. Moored buoys have been in use since 1951, while drifting buoys have been used since 1979.

An Integrated Ocean Data System 
Spotter is a web-integrated solution for collecting ocean wave and surface current data, designed from the ground up to be easy to use, intuitive, and extremely low cost. The Spotter Device is a compact, solar-powered, surface-follower, which measures surface waves and currents. Through our online Dashboard you can remotely configure your Spotters, access your data in real time, visualize wave data and position tracks. Your Spotter is already connected, so all you do is turn it on and focus on collecting the data you need.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV, or unmanned robot submarine)
AUV are increasingly non-proprietary and made up of “plug-and-play” AUV modules which can be brought together and configured in the field. When assembled with a set of survey-grade sonar modules, a Gavia AUV becomes a self-contained survey solution with a low logistics footprint that is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions for commercial, defense, and scientific applications.

Autonomous Underwater Observatories
A submersible platform enabling tailor-made solutions with sensors from a variety of sources. They can be used off-the-shelf or customized to better cover application requirements. They have the ability for long-term deployments and the ability to collect and transmit data through a variety of methods. As an example, review the deep argo a submersible device for collecting data at extreme depths.

The list doesn't stop at what is described here. Reading and research on ocean sensors and the digitization of oceans will direct the reader toward the large number of devices collecting data in and around the ocean. Honestly, I'm amazed with the number of devices and the amount of data currently being collected about the oceans. I am increasingly of the belief the we need a reference architecture for the digitization of oceans... Actually, I'm surprised there isn't one already... for it would certainly help to bring together all the oceans data collection on a global scale for the good of us all. If you have any knowledge of an open reference architecture for the digitization of oceans please forward this information along. Thank-you!

Over the next few months I will be publishing a series of blog posts describing, in more detail, all the aspects for building a successful digitization of oceans reference architecture. Next up is; "communications" with focus on the data communications available to oceans technology. Please follow along and make comment. For a table of contents of these coming posts please review a companion post; Digitization of Oceans Reference Architecture TOC