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Marine Electronics


April 2013 Issue

IBM Data Management Aids South Korea Weather Forecasting
IBM is helping South Korea’s Meteorological Administration (KMA) and its affiliate, the National Meteorological Satellite Center (NMSC), tackle data for more accurate environmental forecasting by providing KMA and NMSC with the latest storage technologies capable of recording 20 gigabytes (equivalent to 400,000 web pages) of data per second. With a total storage capacity of 9.3 petabytes (1 million gigabytes), it is South Korea’s most powerful data storage system to date, IBM said.

Every day KMA gathers more than 1.6 terabytes of meteorological data, including temperature and barometric pressure readings, wind speeds and images, as well as observations from satellites, balloons, ships and aircraft.

The new infrastructure enables KMA and NMSC to analyze data more quickly and accurately than previously possible. By incorporating maps and historical data, KMA is able to develop tailored weather forecasts for each of South Korea’s nine regions.

Processing data in real time enables immediate updates on weather conditions. For example, meteorologists can predict more precisely the trajectory of a typhoon or the coverage of the Hwangsa, the sandstorms originating in Mongolia and Northern China that cause environmental problems in Korea in the spring season.

The system has enough power for localized weather-forecasting and related services.

The new system at KMA includes an IBM general parallel file system. IBM has also provided a high-capacity data storage system to NMSC. Together, the systems provide consistent and secure access to a common set of data from multiple servers.

Ocean Explorer, Wave Glider Join POMA 13 ASW Exercise
The anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Proud Manta 13 (POMA 13), which includes participating ships and aircraft from 10 NATO nations, was held from February 23 to March 6 off the coast of Sicily. As part of the exercise, scientists from the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) tested technologies and software that they have been developing for detection and tracking of submarines in the marine environment.

In particular, CMRE experimented with an autonomous ASW barrier to protect a shoreline asset using AUVs and autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs). Florida Atlantic University’s Ocean Explorer AUV performed detections, as it did in POMA 12, and the Liquid Robotics Inc. (Sunnyvale, California) Wave Glider, used in the exercise for the first time, acted as a communications gateway.

This large-scale exercise presented a valuable opportunity for CMRE to test cutting-edge ASW systems in a realistic scenario. It was also an occasion to see how new advances in research and technology, such as AUVs, can be applied to NATO missions in the future.

Previously, CMRE participated in Proud Manta 11 and 12, and gathered data in conjunction with the exercises, helping NATO plan its operations. CMRE also monitored the test area with gliders prior to and during operations to measure oceanographic variables.

CMRE’s role in the 2013 exercise included multistatic ASW experimentation using collaborative AUVs and ASVs, and tactical planning and exercise reconstruction using CMRE’s multistatic tactical planning aid tool.

POMA 13 CMRE experiments were conducted from and supported by the 93-meter NATO RV Alliance, the only ship jointly owned by all NATO nations.

Lateral-Line Sensing Robot Mimics Movement of Real Fish
The European Union-funded Robotic Fish Locomotion and Sensing (FILOSE) research project has developed robots with lateral line sensing to mimic fish. This is a first for man-made underwater vehicles.

During the last four years, FILOSE has investigated fish lateral line sensing and locomotion to understand how fish detect and exploit flow features, and to develop efficient underwater robots based on biological principles.

Experiments with flow sensing and actuation have demonstrated that a fish robot can save energy by finding energetically favorable regions in the flow where the currents are weaker or by interacting with eddies so that they help to push the robot forward.

The robots are also able to detect flow direction and swim upstream or hold station in the flow while compensating for the downstream drift by measuring the flow speed. The FILOSE robot hovering in the wake of an object in the flow is demonstrated to reduce its energy consumption.

Several prototype artificial lateral lines and robot actuators were developed to investigate different aspects of sensing and locomotion in fluids, such as how to use compliant materials to efficiently swim in turbulence, how to build robots that are mechanically simple but still behave like fish, how to interpret flow features and use them to control the vehicles, and how to measure the robot’s motion from the flow signals.

Pulse 8X, Diver Mag Aid Aquatic Crime Investigations
Houston County Rescue in Webb, Alabama, working with the Coffee County and Dale County sheriffs departments, used a JW Fishers Mfg. Inc. (East Taunton, Massachusetts) Pulse 8X metal detector to locate several rifles and shotguns thrown into the Choctawhatchee River. The weapons had been stolen in a burglary and their recovery was essential to prosecute the perpetrators.

In nearby Daphne, Alabama, the local search and rescue team also used a Pulse 8X to locate items taken in a robbery. Several large industrial drill bits were stolen from a construction business and the criminals dumped them in a pond assuming they would be lost forever. Using the Pulse 8X, more than a dozen pieces of missing property were recovered, which helped bring the suspects to trial.

At Florida State University, a training program for aquatic crime scene investigation has been developed, focusing on operational techniques and protocols. Students learn how to use tools, including Fishers Diver Mag magnetometer and the Pulse 8X, to locate weapons and explosive devices.


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