It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Despite all of the challenges and difficulties, there have also been moments of hope, progress, and resilience. Let’s take a look back at some of our major successes and milestones that defined the year.
In similar fashion to last year, our school program Network Blue has been somewhat stifled by COVID-19, which has meant a shift in focus towards improving our online learning management system. What started off as a modest guide, has now turned into an online hub for ocean learning content and we have big goals for where we want to take this in 2023 and beyond. Other Network Blue milestones include:
- Held our first community of practice with schools at Heathfield High School to discuss current and future opportunities for the program.
- Our first teacher Rig build workshop was held at Immanuel College enabling onboarding teachers to observe and participate in a partial Rig assembly in preparation for their 2023 program commencement.
- The Network Blue curriculum planning day was attended by 10 teachers/educators from 7 schools across SA where they were introduced to and received a tour of our online learning hub.
Network Blue curriculum planning day.
On the operations front:
- Deployed Rig with 2 speakers and 2 cameras to monitor the newest shellfish reef at O’Sullivan Beach.
- Re-deployed Rig at Stony Point with camera, salinity and dissolved oxygen. Added additional solar panel and router antenna to land infrastructure.
- Deployed our first wide angle camera lens at Rapid Bay.
- Tested a new 3D printed niobium wet mate connector. This design is now being revised.
- Developed prototype low cost hydrophone and deployed with speaker systems at O’Sullivan beach.
- New controller PCB v2.0. This allows us to support up to 6 peripheral devices and increase the usability and reliability of the Rig electronics.
- Niobium wet-mate connector is in ongoing testing and development.
- New battery compartment v2.0 has been designed which allows us to easily switch the rig power off when storing it in the shade, service the battery’s fuse, and recycle the batteries at their end of life.
- Developed a working prototype CPE Aligner which has been deployed at the Stony Point cuttlefish site. This uses an electronic compass, servo motor and signal metrics to maintain antenna alignment with the land base station facilitating “Rig to shore” communication.
- Made hardware improvements to our “Jetty Rig” design namely, upgraded camera bracket, improved conduit cable protection and designed a 3D printable raspberry pi camera enclosure.
- Development of software to perform computer vision based turbidity sensing using an in field chessboard target. Sharpness and contrast values are determined and then correlated to visibility measurements.
- Developed software to control and automate Youtube live streaming using the Youtube API.
- Developed cloud software for a video stream middleman called VidForward. This will enable us to have a persistent, uninterrupted stream to YouTube.
- Data collected on the Glenelg shellfish reef using AusOcean speakers was published by Dom McAfee and team from the University of Adelaide in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
- New Rig deployment record - the Portside Christian College Rig has been deployed in the Port River for over two years.
- Three months continuous streaming at Rapid Bay with the new wide lens camera.
AusOcean is a not-for-profit ocean research organisation that supports open source practices. Open source approaches to tackling environmental issues means embracing collaborative tools and workflows which enables processes and progress to be fully transparent. A critical aspect of working open is sharing data not only with your immediate team but with others across the world who can learn, adapt and contribute to collective research. By contributing to, and supporting open practices within the scientific community, we can accelerate research and encourage transparency. All tech assembly guides can be found at https://www.ausocean.org/technology