MarinEye: A prototype for multitrophic oceanic monitoring
Increasing our understanding of the complex exchange among processes throughout ocean basins is severely limited by the paucity of infrastructures able to support sustained and interactive observations of the biological, chemical, physical, atmospheric and geological processes. Because all these processes interact in the ocean in complex ways, promoting a more fundamental scientific understanding of these relationships requires new and transformational approaches to ocean observation. In this project we are developing an autonomous system for integrated marine chemical, physical and biological monitoring – MarinEye. This system combine high-resolution imaging, acoustic, sonar, fraction filtration systems and sensors in a modular, compact system that can be deployed on fixed and mobile platforms. Thus, the autonomous monitoring system that is being developed combines a range of technologies capable of providing data that gives an integrated view of the different compartments of the ocean (physical, chemical, biological) at different levels of knowledge (from genomics to biogeochemistry and from micro to macro community dynamics) but synchronized in time and space. The capability to simultaneously monitor biological, chemical and physical data provides the ability to answer questions about how organisms interact with their environment and with each other, and how these interactions influence the overall ecosystem stability. MarinEye also includes a centralized data base infra-structure that will aggregate all the diverse data sources (physical, chemical, biological) collected by the different modules. This data base feeds a platform of data visualization and summarization that can provide synthetic summaries of the main events of the system in order to simplify data analysis. Moreover, the platform also implements several modelling tools that have as main goal to uncover unsuspected and useful patterns that may exist on the physico-chemical and biological data sets generated. This device will increase oceanic knowledge, complementing the already existent ocean observatories by providing novel integrative data not currently supplied. Marineye will give an extremely important contribution for the consolidation of infrastructures dedicated to the observation of the marine environment.