Friday, 13 November 2009: 9:55 AM
In today's diverse and dynamic environments, there are various environmental situations where collecting and analyzing data are of the utmost importance, such as monitoring dams for possible floods or monitoring stress points on bridges. There are certain environments, such as a rain forest, where multiple eco-systems interact, along with thousands of different plants, animals, and insects. The process of collecting and analyzing data manually in an environment, such as a rain forest, would be a nearly impossible feat. Although sensor networks have been around for a number of years, there have been a number of advancements in this area, where most of the current direction is headed toward sensor webs. Distributed services offer many additional possibilities, such as openness, workload sharing, scalability, and transparency. Distributed services allow for a system to be more fault-tolerant as well as making the needed functionality seem to be provided by one black box entity. With the incorporation of agents and Web services, a system can integrate additional functionality with separate goal-oriented process threads. The OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) has a popular initiative known as the Sensor Web Enablement initiative that defines several XML information encodings and Web services for standard access to sensor webs. The information encodings, including O&M (Observations & Measurements) and SensorML (Sensor Markup Language), provide a standard format for sensor data while the OGC Web services provide a variety of functionality from generating maps with sensor data to searching available sensor resources. By integrating the OGC information encodings and Web services, along with agents, the research results in a novel implementation of a sensor web, modeled after NOAA's sensor web implementation of SEAMONSTER (SouthEast Alaska MOnitoring Network for Science Technology Education and Research).
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