Sofar and DARPA look to standardize ocean monitoring gadgets with Bristlemouth – TechCrunch

The ocean is important to countless industries, but we still have only a rough idea of ​​what it looks like as a whole at any given time. To nurture a new generation of ocean surveillance floats and other devices, Sofar Ocean Technologies and DARPA have published an open hardware standard called. Gonostomatida This gives researchers access to off-the-shelf options rather than wasting valuable grants to solve the same engineering problem from scratch.

So far, we call it a “real-time marine intelligence platform”. This can be thought of as a type of weather service for the seven oceans. However, unlike the atmosphere, remote observation of the ocean by satellite or radar is not easy. Understanding ocean movements, salt, pollutant levels, temperatures, and more requires hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of devices that are actually rocking the waves. on.

The company has its own business unit that maintains its own network of floats and produces valuable data that can be sold to a variety of stakeholders, but wants to develop the ocean sensing industry in general and is the CEO. Evan Shapiro suggests: One of the best ways to do this is to create open hardware and software standards.

Sofar’s interface for displaying ocean currents and other ocean conditions.

The lack of hardware connectivity standards is a major obstacle to development and innovation. Today, most of the budget allocated to the development of new marine technologies is spent on resolving basic technological bottlenecks (power, data, communications connectivity) rather than actual marine innovations. ” Told TechCrunch.

This is very similar to how space companies have begun to fuse around some standard bus and spacecraft ideas. If you want to observe cosmic dust, measure radiation outside the atmosphere, or achieve other research goals, you want to spend your time and money on these devices rather than building spacecraft. Just as Rocket Lab and others want to buy and customize a standard spacecraft rather than reinventing the wheel, Sofar focuses on key technologies for ocean-focused researchers. I think I like to guess.

“People rarely want to build floats with power systems, satellite telemetry, GPS, and dolphin detection hydrophones. They mainly want to build hydrophones that detect dolphins, In today’s environment (because there are no hardware standards), the rest must also be built from scratch. So far, commercial adoption and support of bristle mice has been essential to start the value of the ecosystem. “Shapiro said, but said that others had tried this before. “We are neither the first to recognize the need for standardization, nor the first to do it in a reliable way. We. that is It was the first large commercial platform provider to do this (for some reason USB was provided by Intel, IBM, and Microsoft, not Berkeley’s white paper). domain. “

A prototype device to demonstrate the Bristlemouth standard is located in a rusty dock.Image credit: Sofar Ocean Technologies

Among those motors are DARPA, the Navy Research Bureau, and conservation groups. Marine species.. Everyone involved agrees that more data from ocean sensing is good only for science and industry.

As for the standard itself, the details are not particularly exciting from a consumer technology standpoint. It’s not a kit or reference model (the image above is one of Sofar’s own smart buoys, with some duplication), but primarily a suite of hardware and software. It focuses on modularity and interoperability. Rather than buying and upgrading Bristlemouth Basic, many in the industry have designed a shared standard that covers basic procedures such as power management and communications, and makes it easy for the resulting devices to work together. doing.There is more information available On the official website of Bristlemouth..

Marine intelligence is a major part of any industry that touches the ocean, from kelp farming to robot transport to climate change monitoring. If something like Bristlemouth can mitigate the data shortages that limit these domains, the “blue economy” will be able to take off faster and more safely.

Sofar and DARPA look to standardize ocean monitoring gadgets with Bristlemouth – TechCrunch Source link Sofar and DARPA look to standardize ocean monitoring gadgets with Bristlemouth – TechCrunch

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