Open Vessel Data Management (OpenVDM) - Open-source Middleware to Assist Vessel Operators Produce Consistent Cruise Data Packages for Archival and Monitor Data Quality.

John Webb Pinner IV, Capable Solutions, Wakefield, RI, United States
Data from shipboard oceanographic sensors come in various formats and collection typically requires multiple data acquisition software packages running on multiple workstations throughout the vessel. Technicians must then corral all or a subset of the resulting data files so that they may be used by shipboard scientists.

On many vessels the process of corralling files into a single cruise data package may change from cruise to cruise or even from technician to technician. It is these inconsistencies in the final cruise data packages that pose the greatest challenge when attempting to automate the process of cataloging cruise data for submission to data archives.

A second challenge with the management of shipboard data is ensuring it's quality. Problems with sensors may go unnoticed simply because the technician/scientist was unaware the data from a sensor was absent, invalid, or out of range.

The Open Vessel Data Management project (OpenVDM) is a ship-wide data management solution developed to address these issues. In the past three years OpenVDM has successfully demonstrated it's ability to adapt to the needs of vessels with different capabilities/missions while delivering a consistent cruise data package to scientists and adhering to the recommendations and best practices set forth by 3rd party data management groups such as R2R.

In the last year OpenVDM has implemented a plugin architecture for monitoring data quality. This allowed vessel operators to develop custom data quality tests tailored to their vessel's unique raw datasets. Data quality test are performed in near-real-time and the results are readily available within a web-interface. This plugin architecture allows 3rd party data quality workgroups like SAMOS to migrate their data quality tests to the vessel and provide immediate determination of data quality.

OpenVDM is currently operating aboard three vessels. The R/V Endeavor, operated by the University of Rhode Island, is a regional-class UNOLS research vessel operating under the traditional NFS, P.I. driven model. The E/V Nautilus, operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust specializes in ROV-based, telepresence-enabled oceanographic research. The R/V Falkor operated by the Schmidt Ocean Institute is an ocean research platform focusing on cutting-edge technology development.