Work package 1: Autonomous sensors and measurement strategies
This work package focusses on enabling and developing autonomous sensor technology for marine environmental and structural integrity measurements. The research and development are both on existing marine sensors and novel sensor technologies for real-time observations in an underwater wireless network.
Marine smart sensors will have embedded pre-processing of data in the sensor, compression of data, acoustic modem compatibility, and smart operation for low energy use. Research and innovation on new sensor technology include guided ultrasonic wave sensors for integrity measurements, distributed fibre optic sensors with acoustic sensing of environmental noise and structural vibrations, and distributed fibre optic sensors with chemical sensing for environmental monitoring.
Our research also includes nanostructured surfaces for anti-biofouling of sensor and modem surfaces, to ensure high signal quality and longer deployment in the ocean. Research on measurement strategies aims to reduce measurement uncertainty and ensure trustworthy data. This includes self-validation and self-diagnostic capabilities of the smart marine sensors, and optimisation of the sensor network layout with focus on the uncertainty propagation in the network from the marine sensors to the data presented to the end user.
Existing sensors, new sensor technologies, nanostructured self-cleaning surfaces, and the measurement strategies for trustworthy data will be tested at pilot demonstrators in the centre.
Work package 2: Wireless network communication
SFI Smart Ocean depends heavily on underwater communications. This work package focuses on communication technology for SFI Smart Ocean, and will develop a low-cost, miniaturized, and short-range acoustic underwater wireless technology platform assembled to an energy-efficient underwater wireless sensor network (UWSN). Hardware and software will need to be optimized with respect to limited battery capacity, efficiency, and reliability. Acoustic modem and communication protocols shall build on state-of-the-art within underwater acoustic communication technology. The system will be interfaced towards mobile networks (4G, 5G), satellite communication, fiber optic “backbone” networks, and unmanned surface vehicles.
The communication requirements for SFI Smart Ocean are established in cooperation with the other work packages. Communication solutions to use in SFI Smart Ocean will be defined based on the requirements in combination with limitations and possibilities for communication in the harsh underwater environment.
On the physical layer, a testbed is established to investigate different modulation methods and coding techniques and methods for energy optimization. On the network layer, different protocols and network architectures, including multi-hop and mesh protocols, are investigated with respect to efficient data transfer and low energy requirements.
Work package 3: Software technology and big-data middleware
The work package on software technology and big-data middleware focusses on a digital eco-system providing cloud-based ocean data services and supporting cost-effective development of software applications that consumes ocean data services.
The cloud-based smart ocean platform is to comprise a set of software frameworks enabling the integration of external and internal ocean data sources, data storage and processing, and application deployment. The platform is to enable data spaces based on a uniform and standardised set of APIs and data formats. The software technology being developed in the work package is being validated through the development of application prototypes linked to consortium pilot demonstrators and through the deployment of a reference implementation that integrates with external systems and data services.
The main topics of the work package includes development and implementation of the smart ocean platform, system-of-systems software architecture, engineering technology for smart software systems, sensor-cloud integration middleware and protocols, edge computing, interoperability and data service APIs, data quality- and integrity, software security and reliability, machine learning and analytics, and intelligent visualisation of big datasets.
Integrating functions 1
This is an overarching Work Package that include the sites where results from WPs´ 1-3 will be tested out in various environments. The list of test sites is dynamic and is presumed to be expanded during the life cycle of Smart Ocean.
A local scale environmental monitoring test site is presently being set up at the Austevoll Research Station near Bergen. Here three rigs with sensors are being placed, The rigs are modular, and a range of sensors and communication systems can be included. The research station provides an existing infrastructure, making modifications and maintenance of the rigs easier.
A meso scale environmental monitoring will be established as an extension of the local scale system at Austevoll, paving the way for longer scale communication, geo-positioning and mesoscale environmental monitoring, using acoustic tomography and passive acoustics.
Test facilities for offshowe wind installations are being prepared, as are systems for monitoring oil and gas installations. The activities also incluce the Norwegian Ocean Observation Laboratory, where several of the partners of Smart Ocean are collaborating.