RV Belgica automated data acquisition (ODAS III)

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Time (CET)


What is ODAS?

ODAS stands for Oceanographic Data Acquisition System. The system collects, processes and stores oceanographic, meteorological, navigation (position, heading and speed of the ship) and other data from various measuring equipment installed on board the new RV Belgica.

The MDM 500 system from Kongsberg is used for data acquisition and data storage in an on-board MS SQL database. Additionally MDM 500 provides an on-board event logger that records all relevant sensors metadata (calibration information, sensor model, deployment period, etc.)

Data and (sensors) metadata are transmitted every 10 minutes to the OD Nature Measurement Services Ostend (MSO) via a satellite link, where they are added to the on-shore copy of the database.

All on-shore MS SQL (meta)data are thereafter transferred to a PostgreSQL database hosted in Brussels for INSPIRE and OGC compliant dissemination (i.e. SensorML for sensors information, Observations and measurements for Data). Data and metadata are available on the RV Belgica website and via webservices.


Which data is displayed on the visualisation tool?

The data displayed on this visualization tool is only a subset of the full data available since 2004. The following policies have been applied to the data in this visualization tool:

  • Data points are displayed only for every 10 minutes, despite availability of data with higher frequency.
  • The full details of data points are shown in the table view. On the map view approximately one observation point per hour is consultable.
  • If a data point has position information flagged unreliable, no measurements associated to that position are displayed, resulting in a gap in the time series.
  • If there are multiple sensors measuring the same parameter, the most reliable and accurate sensor is selected.
  • Only parameters with a good quality flag are displayed.
  • Some values have been automatically calculated on the basis of other measured values.


Why does the number of the parameters vary?

The number and the quality of the working sensors on-board the RV Belgica has varied throughout its history, gradually increasing throughout the years. Since the installation of the Automatic Underway Measurement System (AUMS) in 2012, the number of the available parameters was increased and the resolution and reliability of many parameters measured was improved. The number of parameters further increased on the new RV Belgica where up to 500 parameters can be registered simultaneously every second. MSO archives the entire history of automatic measurements since 1984. This visualization tool displays for each point only those values which have no quality errors detected by the automatic checking routines.


Data policy

OD Nature provides the online data 'as is' for informational purposes only. The automatically collected data released on this site in near real-time has not been subjected to human quality control and is as such not suitable for use as reference material of any kind. Requests for thoroughly controlled reference data can be made at the Belgian Marine Data Centre. The verified reference data can be requested for all the parameters available, at the best resolution available, including also measurements with quality problems accompanied by the appropriate quality flags. Exact information on how a specific parameter was measured using which equipment at a specific time is normally also available.

All ODAS data provided by the Belgian Marine Data Centre fall under the license Creative Commons zero (CC0). For more information, please look at https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/