SMART Cable

The “Smart Standardized Marine Sensor Cable Interface” (SMART Cable) Project is a part of the Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF) Framework Programme RESTART 2016-2020 for Research, Technological Development and Innovation which was co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund (grant number ENTERPRISES/0916/0066).

The product actualized by the SMART Cable research project is named Smart Interoperable Real-time Maritime Assembly (SIRMA™) — also known as the SMART Cable. SIRMA™ is a re-programmable cable assembly connecting a marine sensor to a platform, simplifying the integration of a new sensor and its data.

SIRMA™ consists of an ultra-low-power miniaturized printed circuit board embedded between each end of a sea cable. This innovative cable assembly allows several functionalities such as data processing, data logging and voltage regulation between a sensor and a platform such as a glider, AUV or buoy. The cable assembly turns a passive device into a smart processing unit.

SMART Cable Prototype with visible PCB

Basic Onboard Modules:

  • 32-bit Microcontroller
  • Step-up/Step-down Voltage Regulators
  • Flash Memory Unit
  • 16-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC)

Input / Output Communication Protocols:

  • RS-232
  • RS-485/422
  • Ethernet
  • Analog voltage
  • 4 – 20 mA current loop

Optional Modules:

  • Real-Time Clock (RTC)
  • Wi-Fi
  • More custom modules upon request

PUCK-enabled Functionality

PUCK is a standard developed by OGC to address installation and configuration challenges for  sensor integration. Currently, new sensor integration introduces a lot of hassles and engineering costs for the operator. At the same time, accessing the data is a big challenge for the user’s of the sensor data, since the collected data is rarely standardized or interoperable.

The Sensor Web Enablement suite of protocols aim to solve the issues both operators and users experience. The main idea is to produce a standardized output data format regardless of the type of sensor or platform. The standardized data can be easily visualized and accessed by the end users.

Example of Communication Protocols facilitated by SMART Cable

Regarding the PUCK protocol, it defines the lower layer of the data hierarchy. SIRMA™ consists of electronics which hold a sensor descriptor file (SensorML). Upon receiving the correct PUCK commands, SIRMA™ transmits this file to the platform. As facilitated by SIRMA™, this process not only standardizes the data coming out of the sensor, but also automatically integrates the sensor into the platform since the communication protocol is defined in the descriptor file along with other metadata.

SIRMA™ (aka SMART Cable)
Sensor & data integration made easy!

SIRMA™ was developed through the SMART Cable Project — a part of the Research & Innovation Foundation Framework Programme RESTART 2016-2020 for Research, Technological Development and Innovation and co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund (Grant number ENTERPRISES/0916/0066).