Operational Support Systems

The challenges confronting global decision-makers are growing in complexity, intensity and urgency. Addressing such issues requires cross-border cooperation and pooled resources. Multi-user facilities enable important scientific discoveries by maximizing resources at a time when many countries face economic constraints.

From “Global Challenges Need Global Solutions”, Nature, 2012, Subra Suresh, Ph.D., President, Carnegie Mellon University; former Director, National Science Foundation

GOCEPT: Optimizing Productivity on Shared Platforms

GOCEPT-DeckProductively integrating Global Oceans’ MARV platform with a diverse, international scientific community on a shared-resource basis requires a mechanism for collaborative communication and research expedition planning. The Global Oceans Collaborative Expedition Planning Tool (GOCEPT) was designed in collaboration with the Marine Science Institute (MSI) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to deliver a web-based platform that scientists worldwide can use to share research plans and resource needs with the Global Oceans team and other expedition participants.

With GOCEPT online, scientists can document their research parameters and communicate within secure project modules — geographic coordinates; sampling protocols; instrumentation requirements; laboratory space and technical support needs; operational and data support; and science team personnel.

Users can create user-defined forums; explore opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, to share equipment and resources; and model alternative cruise tracks and shipboard activities. GOCEPT’s graphics-integrated algorithms will associate aggregated project parameters and proposed cruise tracks with cost and scheduling factors.

GOCEPT’s function is to logistically maximize output of scientific work conducted on shared platforms. Once a collaborative expedition and contingency plan is established, mobilization and logistics at port will be handled by the Global Oceans operational team and its supply partners.

Once at sea, scientific work will be scheduled and managed to plan with a combination of ship-scientist liaison personnel from Global Oceans working with a traditional chief scientist role assigned for each expedition.

The screen shots on this page illustrate some of GOCEPT’s map-based functionality including use of graphic elements (lines, points, and polygons) associated with specific activities; GIS map layers (seafloor bathymetry, global distribution of coral reefs, etc.); a project module description for a Coral Sea expedition; and a planned transect from GOCEPT’s survey mode.

MARV Mission Control Center

Global Oceans is currently developing a MARV Mission Control Center (MCC) operations plan to facilitate management of future MARV and PolarMARV vessel operations. The Mission Control facility will be built and operated by Global Oceans; and will incorporate proprietary technologies and field-services integration from logistics and consulting partners. The system is intended primarily to support planned large-scale, multi-cruise projects such as the Global Seamounts Project and various Arctic Baselines projects, where multiple simultaneous expeditions will be deployed.

The MCC will monitor vessel position and operational status; real-time performance diagnostics; and operational status of modular workspace systems, research instrumentation and power systems.  It will support routing and navigation optimization, and receive visual camera feeds.  Data on performance diagnostics of modular workstations, labs and equipment will be used to improve subsequent mission deployments and modify design parameters for future facilities.

MCC staff will track regional metocean data, and link with navigation services advising ship operations, including high latitude navigation support for Arctic transects. MCC operations will also integrate planning data from the GOCEPT platform for tracking against expedition plans, linking scheduled transect and research activities with in-field scheduling, to advise on contingency operations, and for auditing costs in real time against expedition budgets.

Visual and data feeds coming into the MCC from each vessel and vehicle system in operation will support an operations-wide telepresence and expedition sharing platform that will link to the web and to collaboration meeting centers around the world for real-time interaction between scientists on land with science teams in the field.