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McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory (Antarctica)

I spent October-December 2017 working at McMurdo Station, Antarctica supporting a team based out of the University of Oregon. The team included divers who installed highly sensitive monitoring instruments on the sea floor with live connections back to the surface. My role was to integrate, archive, and make available the vast quantity of data we were collecting.

  1. I developed custom software to interface, control, and record measurements from remote field instruments located under the sea ice. I built two major packages: one called seabird_ctd for command, control and reading of data from our CTD, which is available under a permissive open source license, and the other for managing and integrating data, displaying a kiosk application, and connecting to other data sources.
  2. I built a kiosk application to allow for live viewing of video from under sea ice and graphs of sea temperature, pressure, and salinity, along with interpretive information. The kiosk was built with Django, Django Rest Framework, JQuery, and video.js as its primary libraries – it displays live video and audio, an audio spectrogram, and live seawater conditions, all collected by the instruments we installed. Each of these updates live and the architecture was designed for performance on the station network, but also to be redeployed to the cloud where it would display static images. The system is responsive and interactive and includes interpretive panels, a video archive, and educational information.
  3. I ensured all collected measurements, images, video, and audio were archived, backed up, and available to research team. We deployed a small LAN based on Ubiquiti hardware, which connected to station over a wireless backhaul – most actions stayed within our subnet, but we communicated outside of the subnet to one device that served as a reverse proxy for all other requests into our network, allowing for tight security and good performance across the wireless backhaul while transmitting temperature, pressure, salinity, full HD video, images, and research-grade audio.
  4. I designed and deployed infrastructure to manage and upload data to the Internet over a extremely restrictive network link (imagine your cell phone, but shared by 1000 people)
  5. I supported field work in harsh Antarctic conditions (this was fun and gorgeous).

McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory Website (check out the audio, it’s cool!)

seabird_ctd package

A blog I kept for friends and family while I was there

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