WP 2

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Work package number 2 Type of activity COORD
Work package title

Technological Harmonisation

Start month 1 End month 48
Lead partner 2

Objectives

WP2 – Technological harmonisation

  • To review the current status of existing systems in operational use considered in the project;
  • To synthesize the characteristics of infrastructures offering TNA;
  • To increase the high-frequency measurements on fixed platforms;
  • To define the best technical practices for compatible, robust and cost-effective systems on a variety of fixed applications;
  • To promote tests of new or prototype instruments on a non-operational basis;
  • To define procedures for harmonizing and merging quality assessed high frequency fixed platform data;
  • To define procedures and technological solutions for integration and testing of new sensors on these systems;
  • To increase the traceability, quality and reliability of sensor metadata and data products.

Description of work and role of partners

Description of work

The blend of different researcher communities and existing networks such as EuroSITES, ESONET and CarboOcean makes it necessary to assess the state of the art of the hardware, software and middleware implemented in each of the observatories within the FixO3 community. This linkage between programmes is not a simple task as the objectives, time scales, geographic locations and funding modes are all very different. One of the objectives of this work package is to exploit the progress made by the proceeding programmes and to review the current status of existing operational systems used in Europe and to define the best technical practices for compatible, robust and cost-effective systems on a variety of fixed platforms.

The European capacity for deep ocean, fixed-point observations has developed from a collection of independent, largely nationally funded, and specific projects. As a result, the existing capacity is not capable of direct integration with other observing systems. In order to get the best impact, all of the observatory sites must be equipped with instrumentation using a high level of sophistication with agreed to protocols.

This WP will also provide for efficiencies and economies in purchasing, interface and driver development, calibration, and maintenance.

Task 2.1: Review of the current status of all fixed observing sites (M1-M12)

OGS (Lead), PLOCAN, MI, UPC, IFM-GEOMAR, NOC-NERC, IEO, CNR, CNRS, INGV, HCMR, INDP, UNIABN, UAzores, BL

The work will consist in collecting and synthesizing all relevant technical information and defining the state of the art of hardware, software and middleware characteristics of each site under a common and searchable knowledge base. This will be done to help users by providing efficient selection criteria and relevant information, including policies and logistics. A questionnaire will be sent to all groups. Partners will supply information on their infrastructures in a common format. The results will be summarised in the form of a report (D2.1.2) describing the different ‘solutions’ which have been generated to solving common problems. For example a knowledge-base tool will be created (D2.1.1) to facilitate the choice of sensors, maintenance, energy supply solutions and data telemetry options. This information will complement the information on-the-shelf products for the development and maintenance deal in task 2.5. This add-on will smooth the process of complementing, updating and synthesizing all information made available from access providers that are relevant to TNA users. This dictates that exhaustive information be used in a follow on steps producing clear and viable proposals. It keeps TNA-related uncertainties before, during and after the access period to a minimum. For the sake of efficiency, this also implies creation of a common specification for the set of infrastructures, which is in agreement with current practices (e.g. EurOceans, Eurofleets, etc.).

Task 2.2 A User Knowledge Base for TNA infrastructures (M1-M24)

Marine Institute (Lead), PLOCAN, OGS

User-oriented and up-to-date information on operations is essential for the success of TNA. This task aims
to provide users with all of the necessary information to prepare TNA proposals that are of high scientific and technical standards and that are fully compatible with the capacity of the observatory facility. A TNA add-on will be defined and added to the knowledge-base tool created in task 2.1. Benefits to users are objective selection criteria, detailed modalities of access, data policy and access logistics. Examples are electrical and mechanical characteristics, observatory maintenance schedules, local practical and administrative arrangements, scientific and technical support, detailed information on complementary support offered to users. The generic information made available for the FixO3 project proposal will be complemented and updated on-line by access providers and made available to the public in the first months of the project. The task, which is inherently user-oriented, will also feed into the technical information needed in task 2.1.

Task 2.3 Assessment of existing and novel hardware (M1-M48)

INGV (Lead), SRL Consulting, UPC, CNRS, IFREMER

The work will consist of an evaluation of new sensors and assessment of their applicability for fixed stations by means of state-of-the-art studies. Tests of new sensors or prototype instruments on a non-operational basis
will also be promoted, including range instruments for carbonate species, sensors for ocean acidification, fluorometers, and automatic nitrate measurements. Any advances in existing sensors will also be assessed here. This task will focus on improving the capability and the functioning of fixed stations with respect to the acquisition of high quality data. The goal is to provide indications of operational requirements and any limitations of the applicability of new sensors and prototypes for different configurations of fixed stations (cabled and stand-alone). The experience acquired during previous projects (EuroSITES, ESONET-NoE, NEAREST, CARBOOCEAN) and experiments will be the baseline for the functionality analysis and the assessment of maturity. Tests will be performed in the OBSEA testing site or in the most suitable TNA structure. A “Handbook” will be compiled including the relevant information on all of the tested sensors and devices. This task will be developed with a strict linkage to WP11 and W12.

Task 2.4 Harmonization of Data Quality Assurance across fixed platforms (M1-M24)

NERC-NOC (Lead),

OGS, IFM-GEOMAR, IFREMER

This task will collate and promulgate information upon which the data quality harmonization strategy will be built. A key aspect of an efficient operational observing system is harmonization of effort at the instrument and observatory level. To fully assess the quality of the data from a specific instrument a history of its handling must be recorded and made available to the data management stream. A Quality Assurance strategy ensures data provenance is known by recording the handling of the instrument and the timely compilation of sufficient metadata to describe the processes applied to the instrument. The strategies being used in various scenarios will be identified and best practices determined.

Developments in the systematic description of metadata have been made in the ESONET project regarding the use of OGC SWE standards. This can be used as a basis for determining the methods for recording and distributing metadata in the lower band-width environment of deep sea moorings. Identified best practices in collecting and using quality assurance data will be distributed to platforms across the network. The extension of distribution formats such as OceanSITES will be monitored and encouraged to embrace quality assurance aspirations.

A great resource of practical expertise exists disparately across the range of existing observatories. Thus,
this task will catalogue the various techniques and strategies being used. Requirements for best practices handbooks for handling specific instruments to assure quality will be identified and the documentation will be synthesized and distributed within the network. This task will be performed in coordination with WP4.

Task 2.5 Develop the “Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages” (M1-M48)

University of Azores (Lead), IFREMER, SRL Consulting, PLOCAN, HCMR

The work will consist of updating, within the first year, the ESONET yellow pages to include the needs of
the wider open ocean observatory community. The ESONET Yellow Pages aim to organize the information concerning on-the-shelf products for the development and maintenance of such observatories, which are provided by the private sector (with input from task 2.1). This includes a range of equipments, from simple, isolated sensors or parts, to communication systems or even integrated observatories. They also aim to foster the feedback from the scientific community in what concerns the experience with a specific product, addressing reliability for long-term operations and the use in real deep sea conditions. The yellow pages will also be enhanced with the input of topics from the CARBOOCEAN, ICOS and EuroSITES projects to cover the whole range of FIXO3 Infrastructures. A yearly review, associated with the steering committee and/or Open Ocean Observatories Label meetings, will discuss the content of the “reference” column and possible modification of its representation. This column is intended to be a testimony by reference users within the FIXO3 community as to the reliability of the equipment based on actual experience. Under the direction of WP4, the process of integrating the ESONET Yellow pages data into the Open Ocean Observatories sensor registry database will be developed and promoted through training. The objective is to register a sensor within a few minutes by: selecting the sensor data in the yellow pages site, pasting it into the sensor registry, adding the owner and deployment site reference data and validating. This implies a regular update of the manufacturer’s references in the www.esonetyellowpages.com site, which will be coordinated over the entire project as part of this task.

Task 2.6 Develop and promote sensor interoperability (M1-M48)

PLOCEAN (Lead), MARUM, UPC, SLR, HCMR, 52°NORTH, IFM-GEOMAR, IFREMER, OGS

This task builds upon the results obtained on defining, designing and implementing the Sensor Registry using the OGC SensorML standard, IEEE 1451 (Transducer Electronic Datasheets), and has the objective to develop and promote these concepts across the project infrastructures. One of ESONET’s goals was to create a suite of interoperability tools for a Sensor Registry interface. The Sensor Registry is based on standard hardware and web-based interfaces for the registration and standardization of observatory sensors, facilitating the transcription of main sensor specifications and operational characteristics into a machine-discoverable and readable standard digital format. As planned, this interface enables the discovery and broadcast of sensor data, as well as the manufacturing of a smart interface communications prototype that allows direct communication between a sensor and its database registry. This standardization process generates the following benefits:

  • Increase in the traceability, quality and reliability of sensor metadata and data products
  • Increase in performance and ease of maintenance of observing systems
  • Simplification and improvement of usability, implying reductions in cost of operations
  • Increase in the compatibility and interoperability of data and sensor services

This task will interoperate with the “Open Ocean Observatories” Yellow Pages incorporating new sensor templates and adapting the sensor registration interface. A user friendly manual for scientific users will be created and its use will be promoted. This topic will be included in project training activities to be linked with WP12. This task will permit to manage an on-line community of users and the results will be used to support the best practices principles that will be developed in task 3.2.

Person months per participant

Participant number Participant short name Person-month per participant
1 NERC 5.40
2 OGS 10.50
3 HCMR 4.00
4 UniHB 1.00
7 PLOCEAN 4.00
10 SLR 1.50
11 IFREMER 1.80
12 BLIT 1.00
13 INGV 4.50
14 MI 2.00
15 UNIABDN 3.45
16 CNRS 2.00
17 GEOMAR 1.00
20 IEO 1.00
23 UPC 3.50
26

52°North GmbH

2.60
27 CNR 1.00
29 IMAR 6.00
TOTAL 56.25

List of deliverables

Deliverable Number Deliverable Title Lead beneficiary number Estimated indicative person- months Nature Dissemination level Delivery date
D2.1

On-line knowledge base for infrastructure characteristics

2 5.00 O PP 6
D2.2

Review of current marine fixed instrumentation

2 4.00 R PU 12
D2.3

Synthesis of infrastructure technical characteristics

14 8.00 R PP 6
D2.4

Summary on new sensor developments and their suitability for different applications

13 4.50 R PU 26
D2.5

“Handbook” on relevant info about sensors and devices tested

13 5.00 P PP 34
D2.6

Updated version of the “Handbook” on relevant info about sensors and devices tested

13 3.00 P PP 44
D2.7

Compiled library of instrument specific preparation, deployment and calibration techniques, (available to partners only).

1 5.00 R PU 24
D2.8
First update of the Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages Website
29 6.00 R PU 20
D2.9
Final update of the Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages Website
29 4.00 R PU 40
D2.10
Technical Guidelines of standards of acceptability for common sensor interoperability protocols
7 7.50 R PU 40
TOTAL 52.00

Description of deliverables

D2.1) On-line knowledge base for infrastrucure characteristics: A knowledge-base tool used to facilitate the choice of sensors, maintenance, energy supply solutions and data telemetry options [month 6]

D2.2) Review of current marine fixed instrumentation: The results of a questionnaire, filled by each partner with the information on their infrastructures, will be summarised in the form of a report describing the different ‘solutions’ which have been generated to solve common problems [month 12]

D2.3) Synthesis of infrastructure technical characteristics: A report which compiles the infrastructures technical characteristics [month 6]

D2.4) Summary on new sensor developments and their suitability for different applications: Inventory on new sensor developments and their suitability for different applications: this will include an inventory of the relevant sensors prototype developed and used by the partners or made available by previous projects. [month 26]

D2.5) “Handbook” on relevant info about sensors and devices tested: First version of the “Handbook” on relevant info about sensors and devices tested: the Hanbook is intended to be a work tool also helpful for digital consultation in connection to D2.1. A preliminary version will help to collect suggestions for improvements and test the use extent. [month 34]

D2.6) Updated version of the “Handbook” on relevant info about sensors and devices tested: Updated version of the “Handbook” on relevant info about sensors and devices tested: the Handbook will be operating including relevant information about sensor prototypes also according to the inputs of WP11 and WP12. [month 44]

D2.7) Compiled library of instrument specific preparation, deployment and calibration techniques, (available to partners only).: A Quality Assurance Plan reflecting current best practices and a road map for incorporating appropriate methods for metadata collection and distribution. [month 24]

D2.8) First update of the Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages Website: First update of the Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages Website: EYP site will be transferred to IFREMER server to form the first version of O3YP. The existing database will be updated, after a renewal of contacts with equipment, service and data suppliers. [month 20]

D2.9) Final update of the Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages Website: Final update of the Open Ocean Observatories Yellow Pages Website: O3YP site will be upgraded, ensuring compatibility with portable devices. Additional information concerning sensor description and user assessment will be incorporated. [month 40]

D2.10) Technical Guidelines of standards of acceptability for common sensor interoperability protocols: A report on standards of acceptability for common sensor interoperability protocols, including a user manual of the sensor registration interface [month 40]

Schedule of relevant milestones

Milestone number Milestone name Lead beneficiary number Delivery date from Annex I Comments
 MS5 Review of the current status of all fixed observing sites (instrumentation, software and middleware)  2  13 Task 2.1 completed and presented at First Annual meeting
MS18

Presentation of FixO3 label, common protocols and standards and best practices for ocean observatory

7 46

Relevant reports from workshops and WP4 outputs available on project website