The various external evaluations of EMSO (ESONET NoE final evaluation 2011, EMSO Ocean Observatories Challenges and Progress conference in 2012, ESFRI evaluation in 2013) underlined the capacity to build standards and implement them for cost efficiency at EU level as a major asset of EMSO. In such a distributed infrastructure, it represents a common reference linking the Regional Teams and the EMSO governance bodies. Service groups are mobilized in this WP, among them Science Service Group working with STEAC to update and prioritize specifications, the Engineering Service Group to implement interoperability actions, propose new mature technologies or new operating methods able to be widely used inside EMSO ERIC and become references attracting new members.
EMSO standards and interoperability topics include:
● Subsea observatory architecture and major or critical underwater subsystems and components (e.g., connectors) (progressing respect to EMSO PP)
● Underwater intervention on multidisciplinary subsea observatories with ships and ROVs (addressed in EMSO-Link)
● Enhancement of Open data policy (started in EMSODEV ongoing project)
● Sensor Web Enablement (addressed in EMSO-Link)
● Metrology and calibration (addressed in EMSO-Link)
● Testing towards robustness, Reliability, Availability and Maintenaibilty studies (input from ENVRIplus, FixO3 and NeXOS projects)
● EMSO Generic instrumentation module (EGIM; addressed in EMSODEV ongoing project)
● Maintenance procedures (addressed in EMSO-Link, see WP3 Task 3.3)
The use of the word “standards” only refers to the time consuming and costly national and international standardisation procedures in a few cases, mainly testing programs and metrology protocols where specialized institutes can support EMSO. The EMSO process is to collect best practices from the operation of multidisciplinary observatories in Europe and worldwide and, thanks to expert engineers from research, operational oceanography and industrial projects, establish synthesis Handbooks and chapters of a “label”. EMSO ERIC will take the lead thanks to EMSO-Link and play a role on the promotion of interoperability at international level (see WP7). For instance, an international working group (the Smart Ocean Sensors Consortium) is focused on offering standard mechanisms in order to facilitate new sensor integration on marine platforms and also a quick access to data through OGC standards (Open Geospatial Consortium). EMSO is now in a good position to contribute to this working group that includes people from institutions like the MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California), IFREMER, UPC, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Ocean Networks Canada, and also some representatives from companies involved in marine technologies.