Development of a Submerged Hub for Monitoring the Deep Sea

Understanding the ever-changing oceans, biota and atmosphere is one of the great global challenges of the next several decades. The future of measuring and forecasting long-term trends and variability in coastal ecosystems, weather, acoustics, and climate lies in sustained measurements of key ocean indicators from ocean observing systems. A new era in ocean observing has begun, one of an integrated, organized approach to gathering and sharing information. The University of Haifa and the University of Padova have joined forces and developed a submerged hub on top of the Texas A&M – University of Haifa Eastern Mediterranean Observatory (THEMO). THEMO is located in the Levant Basin of the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of 125 m. The developed hub includes processing units, energy cells, and interfaces to various sensors, and. The hub is designed to connect any underwater sensor to a cloud service in real time. In particular, it serves to transmit, receive, and analyze underwater acoustic signals to the aim of long- range underwater acoustic communication and for active acoustic detection of marine mammals and large predators. The hub conserves power and is suitable for long- term deployments (of several months). By combining the RF communication capability of THEMO with a wired transmission from deep water to surface, the hub transfers the collected data to a shore station. This communication link is two-way and allows updating of the processing software onboard the hub from the shore. The communication between the hub and the shore station is managed to avoid bottlenecks. Moreover, the processing burden is divided between the submerged hub and a processor onboard the surface buoy. In this paper, we share some design details of our submerged hub, and discuss its capabilities. We then demonstrate the usage of our submerged hub, and invite the research community to use its data.


Roee Diamant, Fillipo Campagnaro, Shlomo Dahan, Roberto Francescon, Michele Zorzi

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