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European Virtual RV Platform expanded with modules for a Generic Cruise Planning System and for Dynamic Vessel Tracking & Events System

A generic cruise planning system will facilitate a more efficient and harmonised planning and improved flow of programme information from operators to the Cruise Programme database. Therefore a DEMONSTRATOR of such a Eurofleets generic cruise planning system has been developed and launched. The main aim of the DEMONSTRATOR is to show the features that can be offered by such a cruise planning system. As example, cruises funded in the framework of the Eurofleets Transnational Access Activities (TNA) have been considered, and the results after the planning processes can be consulted. It is an ultimate goal of Eurofleets to establish a common system for giving e-access to underway and operational information and data from sailing research vessels. A first step has been undertaken in analysing and exploring the options by developing and launching a PROTOTYPE Dynamic Vessel Tracking & Events System. It gives dynamic charts of the momentary position and sailing tracks of selected RVs with position, speed, and bearing as well as 24 hour Ship Summary Reports (SSR) by clicking on any position of the vessel track; the SSR includes options to retrieve the event logs for the fixed instruments on board of the RVs.

The Eurofleets project has developed the European Virtual Infrastructure in Ocean Research (EVIOR) by way of an integrated information portal, providing up-to-date information about research vessels (RV), cruise programmes, completed cruises and special equipment. This portal is operational and maintained since March 2010 with in 2012 an expansion with large equipment information. In 2013 two more services have been added by means of a Generic Cruise Planning System and for Dynamic Vessel Tracking & Events System. The portal development did not start from scratch, but it integrates and upgrades a number of existing database modules from the SeaDataNet pan-

European marine and ocean data management infrastructure, EurOcean and POGO - Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans.

 

In March 2010 the following information modules have been integrated and provided with a common EUROFLEETS identity:

 

  • Research Vessel Cruise Programme database, containing planned cruises per research vessel and owner / operator;
  • Research Vessel database, containing characteristics of each research vessel, owner / operator contact details and, if available, a link to the ship's web page;
  • Cruise Summary Reports (CSR) database, containing details of completed cruises and providing a first level inventory of oceanographic measurements made and samples taken during the cruises.

 

In March 2012 this has been extended with the following information module by EurOcean:

 

  • Large Exchangeable Instruments (LEXI) database, containing details of large exchangeable instruments from European operators and also integrating the earlier Underwater Vehicles database of EurOcean.

 

In May 2013 this has been extended with the following modules:

 

  • Generic Cruise Planning System - DEMONSTRATOR, facilitating a more efficient and harmonised planning and improved flow of programme information from operators to the Cruise Programme database;
  • Dynamic Vessel Tracking & Events System - PROTOTYPE, giving dynamic charts of the momentary position and sailing tracks of selected RVs with position, speed, and bearing as well as 24 hour Ship Summary Reports (SSR) by clicking on any position of the vessel track; the SSR includes options to retrieve the event logs for the fixed instruments on board of the RVs.

 

The EUROFLEETS beneficiaries only manage a selection of European research vessels and equipment. However it is decided not to limit the scope of the EVIOR databases, but to focus on a full European coverage by encouraging non Eurofleets beneficiaries to contribute. This is stimulated via various existing networking relations, such as SeaDataNet, EurOcean, POGO, ISOM (International Research Ship Operators' Meeting) and ERVO (European Research Vessel Operators). High quality and up-to-date input by EUROFLEETS beneficiaries will create momentum and be instrumental in achieving this ambition.

 

The EVIOR databases are supported, where relevant, by:

 

  • SeaDataNet European Directory of Marine Organisations (EDMO), containing the contact information and activity profiles for the organisations that are engaged somehow in marine data activities in Europe such as involved in marine research projects, data acquisition, operation of data networks, research vessels, and data centres;
  • SeaDataNet Common Vocabularies, consisting of lists of standardised terms that cover a broad spectrum of disciplines of relevance to the oceanographic and wider community;
  • SeaDataNet European Directory of Marine Environmental Projects (EDMERP), containing an overview of research projects relating to the marine environment. Research projects are catalogued as factsheets with their most relevant aspects, including coordinator and partners.