For scientists and researchers like those soon to be working with the U.S. Academic Research Fleet’s (ARF) newest ships, the Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRVs), exploring the marine environment while remaining connected to their critical research and social infrastructures is imperative to the success of their findings.
However, inadequate vessel designs, high satellite service costs, and technological and administrative complexity have all contributed to the challenge of enabling operations in a connected mode. If scientists cannot reliably move data captured at sea from a research vessel into the processing pipeline while the vessel is at sea, then the ability to begin working with the information on shore is reduced. The time lost can mean updates on climate science, marine biology, oceanography and more are delayed, and data can be at risk while being collected and transferred quickly on-site, or at the edge.
In early 2022, CI Compass, the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence, embarked on an engagement with the U.S. Academic Research Fleet and RCRV in order to work together to identify ways to minimize the time between data capture and analysis.