Instrument Connection

Instrument Connections for Industry Projects

Industry projects with Ocean Networks Canada usually, though not always, require connecting hardware or software to the observatory systems.  Therefore an overview of the observatory systems should enlighten potential industry partners on connection options and interface control requirements.

Observatory seaflore sitesSeafloor deployment sites on the observatory.

Concept diagram of Observatory operationsConcept diagram of observatory.

Ocean Technology Test BedOcean technology test bed in Saanich Inlet.

OTTB recoverable platformRecoverable platform of the OTTB.



Access to the Ocean Technology Test Bed is simple to arrange and can occur at any time which allows for significant flexibility.  Access to the observatory seafloor sites on the NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS networks must occur during one of the scheduled maintenance cruises.  There are typically two cruises per year depending on ship and ROV availability.

Interface Control

It is preferable to utilize observatory standards, however the Technology Demonstration Facility Engineer can accommodate a wider range of interfaces with the ONC interface module (OIM). The Innovation Centre will work to ensure that we can provide whatever interface the manufacturer needs to demonstrate or support the development of of a product.


The observatory uses Ethernet communications wherever possible.  Some ports can be configured to support RS-232, RS-485 and RS-422 communications. Fibre optic ports can also be provided.


Data type Format
Video H-264
Photos .bmp
Passive acoustics .wav
Sonar as the manufacturer requires
Scalar as the manufacturer requires


Port type Voltage (port dependent) Power (port dependent)
Node 375 VDC  
Junction Box 375 VDC, 48 VDC, 24 VDC, 12VDC 150 W, 75 W, 48 W
SIIM 375 VDC, 24 VDC 150 W, 75 W, 48 W
OIM as requested limited by port connection and voltage supplied

Instrument Drivers

The manufacturer should provide an interface control document for their instrument.  This should include the command set, input and output formats and power requirements.  ONC's IT staff will develop a driver for the instrument that is compatible with the observatory.  This can be pre-tested over the internet using an instrument at the manufacturer's facility or an instrument can be sent to ONC for driver testing.