In this proposal the PI addresses the key technology issue of interfacing sensors with ocean observatories to a) decrease labor required for preparing, deploying and supporting instruments, b) ensure real-time and archived data is usable, c) make developing instruments for observatories easier, and d) provide pathways for the support of instruments not purpose- developed for observatories. If adopted by the community, this approach would allow interoperability of instruments between different ocean observatory systems. The testing program proposed here, and the involvement of instrument manufacturers and observatory developers at other institutions, is structured to ensure that development of the instrument infrastructure is responsive to community needs and the results made widely available. For this development, the PI is applying distributed object, smart network, plug-and-work, and XML technologies to create a uniform software infrastructure to support the development, deployment, and operation of mooring based, deep ocean observing systems with the goal of simplifying the problems of configuring, interfacing, and controlling instruments in networked observing systems with potentially intermittent and limited bandwidth, as well as simplifying access to, and management of, the data coming from such systems. Once completed, the prototype will be tested at the MARS (Monterey Accelerated Research System) observatory. The rationale behind this proposed development is that there is a pressing need to develop a uniform infrastructure to configure, interface, and control instruments as well as manage data from the instruments deployed in distributed networked sensor systems. This proposal addresses three problems: 1) the need to develop a standard instrument interface protocol and instrument adaptor that will simplify ease of configuration at sea, as well as automated device and service discovery in the system, 2) development of a standard methodology for describing instrument metadata, using XML technology, and a means for delivering sensor data, along with its metadata, to shore, and 3) a uniform application programming interface (API) using distributed object, client-server technology, that will simplify the task of controlling and accessing instruments by making the network layer transparent to the application developer.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
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Kandace S. Binkley
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Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Moss Landing
United States
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