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A Web Based Framework for On-Board Decision Support Tools – 2018 Antarctica and Southern Ocean Forum

A Web Based Framework for On-Board Decision Support Tools

August 17, 2018
09:40  -  10:00

When conducting complex, long duration marine science operations, one of the major challenges is making sense of the vast amount of scientific and operational data available on board in order to make the best use of what is frequently a unique opportunity.
Critical data often comes from systems made by manufacturers who have a vested interest in ensuring that their equipment works best within a proprietary family. An additional problem is that ice breaking ships like the Aurora Australis work in relatively unique environments (by Australian standards) and conduct bespoke operations which are not catered for by mass market equipment providers.
The Australian Antarctic Division has developed an open source web based framework to integrate and deliver science and operational data to ship based users. The system is called DiRT (Data in Real Time) and publishes data from a variety of systems via web protocols including WebSockets; a protocol which first emerged in 2009 and which is now well supported by modern web browsers.
Using the DiRT framework, we have built customised web pages incorporating both real-time and historical data to provide specialised Decision Support Tools for Antarctic marine operations including scientific trawling, cargo operations and mooring recoveries. The tools are available on any web enabled device including mobile phones and tablets utilising on board Wi-Fi connectivity. The system also allows rapid development during a voyage to meet new and unforeseen requirements.
The objective is to take the key elements from disparate scientific systems and sensors and then distil the essential information into a single display to enhance situational awareness.
The DiRT system has been successfully operating on board RV Aurora Australis since the 2016/17 seasons. Use of flexible open source technologies including Scalar Vector Graphics ensures that we are well placed to cater for the significantly expanded capabilities of Australia’s new Ice breaker RV Nuyina due for delivery in 2020.
Our presentation will describe the development, operational challenges and future directions of this system.

Session Category :  Sustained Measurements