Principal Investigator: Duane
R. Edgington, MBARI
Project Manager: Daniel Davis, MBARI
Introduction | MOOS System Features and Constraints | MOOS Infrastructure Technology Features | The MOOS PUCK Concept | MARS System Features | Challenges Common to MARS and MOOS
This NSF SENSORS project addresses
the key technology issues of interfacing networked sensors in an ocean
Decrease labor required for preparing, configuring, deploying and supporting a wide variety of instruments,
Ensure that data from the system can be automatically processed, and that necessary metadata is readily available
Enable autonomous operation of instruments and automated event response over an observatory network
Provide pathways for the support of instruments not specifically developed for observatories.
MOOS Mooring Based System
For some time, MBARI has been
applying state-of-the-art technologies, including distributed object,
smart-network, plug-and-work, and XML, to create a uniform software
infrastructure to support the development, deployment, and operation
of its MBARI Ocean Observing System (MOOS), a mooring based, deep
ocean observing system. The goal has been to simplify the problems of
configuring, interfacing, and controlling instruments in networked
observing systems, as well as simplifying access to, and management
of, the data coming from such systems. This work has primarily focused
on mooring based systems with potentially intermittent and limited
bandwidth, as well as limited power.
The specific goals of this new NSF
SENSORS project are to analyze the infrastructure requirements for
cable based coastal systems, use this to modify and adapt the
infrastructure developed by MBARI for mooring based systems, and
prototype and test the feasibility of this infrastructure for Monterey
Accelerated Research System (MARS), a cable based system to be
deployed in Monterey Bay in 2005.
The testing program proposed here,
and the involvement of instrument manufacturers, users, and
observatory developers at other institutions, is structured to ensure
that development of the instrument infrastructure is responsive to
community needs. The work proposed here would solve key interfacing
and data management problems by making the interface problem a part of
instrument development rather than an installation problem, and by
handling existing off-the-shelf instruments in a straight-forward, easy
Infrastructure currently in use in several deployments
Being used to prototype standard puck interface
Mooring provides primary surface expression
Deployable in deep or coastal ocean
Limited power availability
Limited bandwidth (radio telemetry and satellite)
Highly reconfigurable, portable
Supports benthic nodes with optical subnetwork
Supports multiple platforms – AUVs, vertical profilers, etc.
In conjunction with the concept of a
standard puck interface (see below), a fundamental feature of the MOOS
infrastructure implementation is the use of recent advances in 'smart
network' technology to provide real-time reconfiguration, remote
device control, and automated event detection and response within a
network with limited bandwidth links (radio-frequency and acoustic).
Smart networks also provide a
capability for “plug and work” instruments, or automated device
and service discovery, based on a distributed object-oriented software
architecture. Whenever and wherever a device is plugged into the
network, its host node uploads its service driver and metadata and
announces its availability to the network. A standard software
interface for obtaining information about the device is part of the
infrastructure. At the same time direct access to the device is also
The flexibility for re-configurability
of the system created by the use of “plug and work” is also
reflected in the approach to metadata issues. Using user-friendly
forms, the metadata is captured in XML and stored in the device puck
along with the device service code. The XML technology provides
maximum flexibility for conversion of metadata to and from a wide
variety of representations.
A fundamental principle of the design is to provide standard containers and methods for handling data and metadata while providing the maximum ability of users to define the form and content of the data itself.
The puck was developed to address
these major requirements:
A uniform hardware and software adaptor to enable the widest variety of instruments and devices to be interfaced to the observing system network.
To enable automated device and service discovery (plug and work) by providing minimal memory and processing capability not necessarily provided by the device.
To provide persistent memory to bind all the instrument’s metadata to the instrument itself and the data stream it provides.
PUCK in Initialization Mode
PUCK in Operational Mode
PUCK In-line Hardware Prototype
Hardware infrastructure, a 51 km cable, planned for deployment in 2005
Initially eight science ports, with room for expansion
Focused on coastal observing
Significant power availability (~10 KW)
Significant bandwidth (~100 Mbps Ethernet)
Permanent stationary system
Supports benthic nodes with optical subnetwork
Can support multiple platforms – AUVs, vertical profilers, etc.
The Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) is a joint project of MBARI, the University of Washington, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL). MARS will serve as the test bed for a state-of-the-art regional scale ocean observatory, a component of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative. MARS represents the next step toward harnessing new power and communication technologies to provide a remote, continuous, long-term, high-power, large-bandwidth infrastructure for multidisciplinary, in situ exploration, observation, and experimentation in the deep sea.
Instrumentation: Both systems
must accommodate similar types of instruments. It is reasonable to
expect that users can move instruments between the two types of
Platforms: Both systems must
be capable of supporting the use of additional instrument platforms;
AUVs, benthic substations, surface or benthic mounted vertical
Although each type of system may in practice be used somewhat
differently, both types must be capable of long term monitoring,
dedicated scientific process studies, and experimentation.
Metadata: All the data that is required to understand and interpret the current status of instruments, their configuration, and the data they provide should be available to users on shore as well as automated system processes as soon as an instrument is deployed.
Interfacing: Interfacing the
hardware and the software of an instrument or instrument platform to
an observing system needs to be simple and flexible to accommodate a
wide variety of instruments.
an observing system when new instruments or platforms are added or
removed should be simple and reasonably transparent. It should not be
necessary to interrupt the operation of the system or existing data
streams to add an instrument.
Data Integration and Automated
Event Response: To achieve the full capabilities of a distributed
observing system, it must be possible to utilize data streams from
multiple sources in an integrated manner. For example, there should be
a capability for a local, automated response to an event, determined
by local monitoring of multiple data streams.
Metadata: All the data that is required to understand and interpret the current status of instruments, their configuration, and the data they provide should be available to users on shore as well as automated system processes as soon as an instrument is deployed to the system.