NOAA OMAO NOAA Ship MILLER FREEMAN: Images and Real-Time Data
April 25, 2024

Internet-At-Sea Project

Capture and transmission of images
Diagram of how NOAA Ships transmit images and info via INMARSAT and Internet to scientists at home labs

Access to the internet from ships at sea can help scientists improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their missions, and increase the quality of the environmental data gathered. Data from the ships transmitted to land based facilities via the Internet can be analyzed with more powerful computers and by several collaborating scientists. This analysis provides scientists aboard the ships with valuable information needed to make adjustments to their data sampling. In addition, data available from NOAA and other internet sources, such as weather and sea conditions, improves the mariner's ability to plan ship movements to maximize data collection. Successful implementation of this cutting edge technology can provide other researchers around the world with a blueprint to connect other remote environmental data acquisition platforms.

Applications of the Internet at Sea links include:

NOAA's HPCC project provided funding in FY96 and FY97 in support of this demonstration project. The demonstration activity started the process of installing an INMARSAT B satellite communication transceiver with a high speed data (56 to 64 kB/sec) channel on two research ships and a connection, via an existing router at the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle, to the North West Network backbone. INMARSAT B with high speed data channel become commercially available in FY97 and was installed as soon as upgrades became available. Network upgrades, satellite hardware installations and connections were implemented in FY98. A preliminary investigation of the capabilities of this process was been conducted using the facilities of the NOAA Ship Ka'imimoana. NC conducted preliminary work in the use of INMARSAT A for ship to shore connectivity via land based networks.

FY 96 activities:

  • Procurement of Inmarsat B upgrades for two vessels
  • Testing of high-speed connectivity to the Ka'imimoana
  • Development of the Ka'imimoana Near Real-Time Theme Page
  • Preliminary testing of video capabilities

FY 97 activities:

  • Installation of Inmarsat B upgrades on selected ships
  • Completion of testing and implementation of video capabilities
  • Development of a second Web page on the Miller Freeman
  • Expansion of presentations for educational institutions/outreach
  • Development of data compression and transfer methods
  • Demonstration of "live" Internet connectivity to the Ka'imimoana

FY 98 activities:

  • Installation of Inmarsat upgrades
  • Development of ONCO ship video archive pages
  • Extensive use of live video capabilities during the VENTS cruise on the Ron Brown
  • Use of Internet@Sea capabilities as part of the HPCC funded Classroom@Sea project

Continuing activities:

  • Enhancement of ships' "at-sea" web pages
  • Daily downloads of images and current shipboard conditions from various ships
  • Support for real-time video downloads during selected cruises


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