Testing & Evaluation Access

Testing & Evaluation Access

Calling Ocean Technology Innovators!
Need to test your ocean observing technology?

Synchro can provide:

  • No-cost and streamlined access to select ocean observing platforms around Monterey Bay and British Columbia for emerging technology testing and evaluation;
  • A technician to facilitate deployment of your equipment on demo platforms;
  • Evaluations to assess product market fit
  • Promotion of your technology and validated data to our wide network of ocean technology users
People viewing screens that show a red jelly captured from ROV footage on the Western Flyer
Image: © Kyra Schlining 2021 MBARI

Synchro provides access for teams to undertake testing and demonstrate the potential of their technology on existing ocean platforms.  A small panel of independent experts will prioritize the applicants. These industry and development applicants will work with co-design teams, which include resource managers, science subject experts, technology developers and industries operating in the marine environment.

Synchro will facilitate access to a wide variety of coastal and oceanic settings including shore  stations, moorings, autonomous vehicles, and seafloor cabled observatories. We will have two  categories of access: Directed Access and Facilitated Access. Directed Access will include dedicated and streamlined access to coastal vessels, shore stations for ocean observing, a test mooring, mesocosms, a large saltwater test tank, cabled ocean observatory simulator, and pressure test system. Lab facilities will also be readily available. The majority of cases are expected to be accommodated by Directed Access. Access to test on some facilities will require substantial planning through Facilitated Access, involving, for instance, larger research vessels, autonomous underwater vehicles, remotely operated vehicles and cabled ocean observatories. These can have higher costs, longer lead times, and / or ongoing prior commitments. Here, Synchro can facilitate scoping and liaising to streamline access and reduce administrative burdens. 

Testing and Evaluation Facilities

Our Directed Access will include no-cost access to facilities from the following providers: 

Which technology is eligible?

We welcome applications from companies, researchers, academic organizations, or those who have developed lab-tested equipment that is ready for the ocean. Synchro is not intended to support development per se, but platform integration, for instance. Your technology should be at a 4 at the minimum on the technology readiness level (TRL). That means your prototype is fully functional and has been tested in lab conditions, but may not have gotten a lot of time in its intended environment. 

We will focus on prototype demonstration in a relevant environment that goes from a fully developed system and successful missions to weaving the results into management and decision making. While open to any technology, Synchro recognizes that the needs for maturing technology readiness are most prominent in biogeochemistry, biological and ecosystems observations.

If you aren’t sure where your prototype fits, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

examples of Technology readiness levels
How the EU defines the nine levels of technological readiness. From https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/faqs/technology-readiness-levels
How the EU defines the nine levels of technological readiness. From https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/faqs/technology-readiness-levels

How will testing and evaluation work?

testing buoy in wave tank
Image: © Todd Walsh 2018 MBARI

Applicants will be prioritized using concepts that balance impact and feasibility. Additionally, evaluators will look at the technology’s capability to address ocean challenges, including those presented by climate variation and climate change, and resource extraction (energy, biology, mineral) from industry (adapted from What We Have Learned From the Framework for Ocean Observing: Evolution of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). In short, we are open to many ocean challenges. We will also be advised by an Evaluation Panel with independent experts from engineering, chemistry, ocean modeling, oceanography, industry, and resource management fields.

We will adopt several conventional aspects of evaluation, including accuracy and precision and their relation to remote observation requirements, enhancing our understanding around specific phenomena, or addressing specific questions. For example—for those systems considering forms of (near) real-time telecommunication and data availability—we will examine the applicability of Quality Control of Real Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) tools developed by IOOS and its affiliates. Our co-design work will also enable feedback from prospective data users. In some cases, applicants may be able to participate in our offshore wind energy impact pilot study.