1999 Projects: Mooring improvements
New mooring controller
The Ocean Acquisition System for Interdisciplinary Science (OASIS) controller, in service on MBARI moorings since January 1992, has successfully supported multi-institutional shipboard experiments; the collection of biochemical data on Monterey Bay; and optical, biological, and chemical measurements from MBARI-maintained moorings in the equatorial-based Tropical Atmosphere and Ocean array. However, OASIS hardware and software is quickly becoming obsolete and unsupportable. The hardware is deteriorating, modifications to circuits are subject to failure in harsh environments, and the software tools havent been updated in recent years. MBARI has received external requests for the OASIS technology, but fulfilling these requests seems inadvisable, given the burden of support necessary to maintain the system.
Under this project we intend to design a new mooring-control system based on the PC/104 standard for embedded computers. Where possible, we will employ commercial off-the-shelf modules for the construction. In cases where a suitable commercial module is unavailable, we will design and fabricate them in-house. One example of this buy-or-build tradeoff is the central processing unit for the computer. The commercial CPU modules currently available will not allow us to build a new system that matches the low electrical energy-usage features of the existing controller. Therefore we will meet the need for a lower-power CPU in MBARIs 1999 PC/104 controller project, and the mooring effort will leverage off this work. We expect to design two, or possibly three, modules specific to the needs of moorings and to purchase the remainder.
The new mooring controller will be based on established mechanical and interconnect standards at the hardware level. At the software level the new controller will utilizing advanced design concepts such as web-based user interfaces, object-oriented methodology, "internet-aware" data delivery, and modern database management methods. Incorporating these features will allow MBARI to make a key component of its technology more easily transferable.
Last updated: 07 October 2004