Design of a Wireless, Inexpensive Ocean of Things System for Volunteer Bathymetry

TitleDesign of a Wireless, Inexpensive Ocean of Things System for Volunteer Bathymetry
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsCalder, BR
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
KeywordsCloud-enabled Data Processing, Crowdsourced Bathymetry, Internet of Things, Ocean of Things, Volunteer Bathymetric Information

Although much progress has been made in recent years to fully map the world ocean, only approximately 20% is adequately mapped to modern standards. Filling in the remain- der must by necessity be a multi-modal effort, with traditional ocean mapping technologies such as crewed survey ships with multibeam echosounders being mixed with newer systems such as uncrewed, sail-powered mapping systems. Volunteer data from any ship with an echosounder can also be used, but although there have been commercial efforts in this field, most of these systems do not contribute data into the public arena and public entities have largely avoided this field due to complexities of costs, data processing, and uncertainty on how to handle the effort. This paper describes the design of an end-to-end system for managed volunteer bathymetric collection consisting of an inexpensive (∼$20) wireless “ocean of things” data logger for NMEA0183 and NMEA2000 data, associated firmware to manage the collection, a mobile device application to off-load, aggregate, and transfer the data into the cloud, and a cloud segment to process the data and submit it to an international data repository. All of the design has been released under an Open Hardware or Open Source license, allowing independent organizations to initiate data collection efforts without having to do any of the design work themselves. The goal is to provide a simple, approachable implementation, encouraging greater adoption of these ideas in hard-to-reach areas of the world with minimal effort on the part of the host organization.


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