The proposed planning activity seeks to undertake planning of the establishment of a new Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Smart Ocean Technology at the University of Connecticut and the University of Washington. The proposed Center seeks to promote and harness robust technological advances in computing, communication, control, devices, instrumentation and platforms that have the potential to provide persistent observation and exploration capabilities for aquatic environments. A distinguishing feature of the proposed center is the emphasis on integration of intelligence/awareness (e.g. smart) at various levels of underwater systems design in order to achieve the agility necessary for the desired robustness, persistence and cost efficiencies.
The planned center intends to focus on creating novel technologies in the areas of communication, power, sensing, and platform systems for the ocean application domain. The resulting systems and the insights they produce about the ocean will inform technical and policy efforts in areas of global impact such as weather/climate, food resources, and sustainability. The center plans to have a significant impact on students via interdisciplinary research engagement. Further, educational outreach to various community organizations (schools and science/technology museums, notably) is expected based on products - data, images and streaming video - resulting from the work conducted at the center.
Terrestrial bodies of water remain largely unexplored and have a direct impact on fundamental aspects of civilization such as weather and climate regulation, food resources and sustainability. The proposed Center for Smart Ocean Technology is directed towards promoting and harnessing robust technological advances in computing, communication, control, devices, instrumental and platforms that can provide persistent observation and exploration capabilities for aquatic environments. The Center will help to bridge the technological gap between the cyber and aquatic worlds and transform the ways in which we observe and understand the sparsely sampled oceans, estuaries, lakes and rivers. A distinguishing feature of the proposed center is the emphasis on integration of intelligence/awareness (hence "smart") at various levels of underwater systems design. The objective of this project was to prepare for establishing the Center for Smart Ocean Technology. This included reaching out to potential member companies for recruitment efforts, organizing a planning grant workshop that involved industry and academic participants, promoting Center activities, organizing follow-up meetings with prospective members and finally submitting the full proposal for the Center. The direct major outcome of this project was the full Center proposal submission with 9 signed commitment letters from industry companies. Additionally, this project resulted in: (1) a day long internal planning meeting for Center participants on Center objectives, research agendas and facility tours; (2) a three day long planning grant workshop to promote Smart Ocean Technology and form industry and academic relationships for creation of innovative technologies; and (3) promotion of Center activities and recruitment initiatives at conferences and tradeshows.