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NASA/Ocean Exploration Trust SUBSEA Project Using Exploration Ground Data Systems Software
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NASA/Ocean Exploration Trust SUBSEA Project Using Exploration Ground Data Systems Software

The Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog (SUBSEA) project, a collaboration between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration (NOAA), the Ocean Exploration Trust, and various academic research centers is using the Exploration Ground Data Systems (xGDS) software for real time operations of the Nautilus Live Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) Expedition NA108. The ROV Expedition is conducted in Gorda Ridge, offshore of northern California and Oregon, and takes place from May 24th - June 8th. ROV operations are live-streamed, including live ROV video, the science voice loop, and messages from the team. The website has a blog as well. Starting May 29th, the ROV is scheduled to be on the bottom of the ocean floor from roughly 7 am – 6 pm Pacific (10 am - 9 pm Eastern) each day, plus ~3 hours of descent and ascent.

BACKGROUND: The xGDS software suite provides web-based tools for planning and carrying out scientific field work, as well as documenting and organizing data collected in the field. Archives provide searching, browsing, and visualization features to better understand what was observed and collected in the field. xGDS has supported simulated planetary missions with terrestrial rovers, human Extra Vehicular Activities (EVAs), manned submersibles, and now, deep-sea ROVs. xGDS evolved from our work developing tools to control, monitor, and collect data from autonomous rovers supporting NASA's terrestrial field science research. SUBSEA represents an opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of using xGDS across a broader variety of Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions in the future.

The SUBSEA research team includes interdisciplinary teams focused on Science, Science Operations, and Technology. The SUBSEA Science team is using ROVs to observe, survey, gather instrument data, and collect samples from analog environments to potential volcanic hydrothermal systems on other ocean worlds, such as Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. The SUBSEA Science Operations research team focuses on the ethnographic study of the work practices, habits, communication and information flows necessary to conduct remote science and exploration, by observing both operations conducted by the SUBSEA team on the E/V Nautilus and those located at the Inner Space Center, University of Rhode Island. The SUBSEA Technology research team uses xGDS software to support integration and visualization of diverse data products relevant to future human exploration of deep space.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research Solicitation (PSTAR)

TEAM, COLLABORATORS, & CUSTOMERS: xGDS TEAM: Tamar Cohen, Matthew Deans, David Lees, Khaled Sharif, and DW Wheeler; SUBSEA TEAM: Darlene Lim (Principal Investigator, ARC-SS), Chris German (Deputy PI/Science Lead, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), (Andrew Abercromby, JSC), Brianna Alanis (University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley), John “Chip” Breier Jr. (University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley), Eric Chan (University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley), Steve Chappell (JSC), Tamar Cohen (ARC-TI), Dwight Coleman (Ocean Exploration Trust), Matthew Deans (ARC-TI), Julie Huber (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Shannon Kobs Nawotniak (Idaho State University), David Lees (ARC-TI), Justin Lowe (Ocean Exploration Trust), Vincent Milesi (Arizona State University), Matthew J. Miller, Ph.D. (JSC), Zara Mirmalek (Harvard University), Nicole Raineault (Ocean Exploration Trust), Delia Santiago-Materese (ARC-SS), Khaled Sharif (ARC-TI), Everett Shock (Arizona State University), Amy R. Smith (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), and Abby Tabor (ARC-PAO)


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