OES Interoperability Standards Initiative for the Marine Environment

The IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society has been pursuing a project called the Interoperability Standards Initiative for the Marine Environment.  This initiative aims to define the need for interoperability with respect to sensors used in systems in the marine environment.  Both hardware and software are subjects.  It also aims to formulate a specific plan of action to address that need, principally through the establishment of standards.  The expected impact is that of standardization in the design and manufacture of sensors, with direct benefits to the manufacturer and user in enabling easier, more stable, and efficient connections and communications when assembling systems, and processing and analyzing derived sensor data.

A thematic session on “Interoperability standards for the marine environment” was held during Sea Tech Week in Brest, France, 11-13 October, specifically during “A Connected Ocean” Conference (ACO 2016), 11-12 Oct.  The intention was to convene a group of experts and other interested parties to summarize and review the state of the art in interoperability standards: to share current knowledge with ocean engineers and managers who are charged with the design of future ocean networks and observatories.  Papers were given by Tom O'Reilly, Jean Francois Rolin, Catherine Satra Le Bris, Joaquin del Rio, Hozi Bao Lam, Janet Fredericks, Gilbert Maudire, and Fadi Obeid.  Interests and opportunities were discussed in conclusion.

Ocean engineers are aware of the importance and value of interoperability standards for marine applications, and these standards are being adopted in a number of European Union projects.  The value, of course, transcends any one geographical region.  The work of the NSF-supported OceanObs Research Coordination Network, which is currently led by OES members, is contributing to the wider adoption of interoperability standards.