The SMART Cable is a re-programmable cable assembly connecting a marine sensor to a platform, simplifying integration of a new sensor and its data.
The cable consists of an ultra-low-power miniaturized printed circuit board embedded between each end of a sea cable. This allows several functionalities such as data processing, data logging and voltage regulation between a sensor and a platform such as glider, AUV or buoy, turning a passive device (cable assembly) to an smart processing unit.
Basic Onboard Modules:
- 8-bit Microcontroller (possibility to upgrade to more powerful modules)
- Step-up/Step-down Voltage Regulators (5 to 28 V)
- Flash Memory Unit
- 16-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC)
Input / Output Communication Protocols:
- Analog voltage
- 4 – 20 mA current loop
- Real-Time Clock (RTC)
- More custom modules upon request
An example of a functionality provided by such cable is the PUCK capability. PUCK is a standard developed by OGC to address installation and configuration challenges for sensor integration. Currently, a new sensor integration introduces a lot of hassle and engineering cost on the operator side and at the same time accessing the data is a big challenge on the user side since the collected data is rarely standardized or interoperable.
This is what the Sensor Web Enablement suite of protocols aim to tackle. The idea is to have a standardized output data format regardless of the type of sensor or platform which can be easily visualized and accessed by the end user.
PUCK protocol defines the lower layer of this hierarchy. It consists of electronics which hold a sensor descriptor file (SensorML) and upon receiving the correct PUCK commands, transmit this file to the platform. This will not only standardized 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.