Ocean sensor company Sofar Ocean Technologies today introduced a new marine hardware standard that’s aimed at making it easier to gather data from the oceans.
The “Bristlemouth” was unveiled at the annual OCEANS 2021 conference in San Diego, California. Sofar CEO Tim Janssen joined with officials from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and marine advocacy organization Oceankind to unveil the new technology and its capabilities for ocean sensing.
Its potential applications range from climate science research and extreme weather forecasting to commercial sectors including offshore renewables and insurance.
According to Mike Wardlaw, a program manager at the Office of Naval Research:
“While big data on land and in space have grown rapidly through standardized methods, economies of scale and distributed sensor networks, the ocean remains largely unmapped and unexplored, due to a lack of scalable ocean sensing strategies. We believe Bristlemouth solves that gap and will enable increased levels of data from the oceans that will in turn accelerate growth in marine technology and applications, empowering an ecosystem of innovation and cross-industry collaboration.”
Traditionally, ocean discovery platforms and sensors need customized components and protocols, making integration efforts costly and difficult and ultimately, creating a barrier to innovation.
Sofar says Bristlemouth’s compact, ocean-proof design functions at full ocean depth for long dwell deployments and delivers hundreds of watts and up to hundreds of megabits per second of data, providing critical insights into the unexplored depths of the oceans.
DARPA, ONR and Oceankind are funding Bristlemouth to support more accessible environmental monitoring and ultimately, leverage the open-source platform into existing projects to help solve the enormous challenges facing the ocean.
(Featured image credit: Ted Gosling / One Communications)