Oceans cover most of the planet, drive our weather and our climate, and carry 90% of the world’s goods.

Yet historically, ocean data has been exceedingly sparse, which limits situational awareness, introduces aliasing effects in measurements, and greatly reduces our ability to accurately forecast ocean processes, surface weather, and climate dynamics.

Despite great advances in satellite technology, sensors, and autonomous vehicles, this ocean data gap persists. The first 100 years of oceanography have been referred to as an “era of undersampling” [1]. Investing in new and enabling technologies is critical to ensure the next decades will be different [2].

[1] W. Munk, “Achievements in Physical Oceanography. 50 Years of Ocean Discovery,” The Joint IAPSO/IABO Assembly, vol. 90, no. 2, pp. 135–141, 2002.
[2] A. Brett, J. Leape, M. Abbott, H. Sakaguchi, L. Cao, K. Chand, Y. Golbuu, T. J. Martin, J. Mayorga, and M. S. Myksvoll, “Ocean data need a sea change to help navigate the warming world,” Nature 2021 582:7811, vol. 582, no. 7811, pp. 181–183, 6 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01668-z

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Motivation

While there’s no lack of ambition or problems to tackle in the ocean space, a considerable amount of resources intended for ocean research and exploration are instead spent on technical challenges around power, data, and communications connectivity. Removing this bottleneck will speed up innovation and drive growth across research and industry.

The Bristlemouth standard is a specification that defines how cables should connect, communicate, and supply power to marine devices.

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Bristlemouth Contributors

The success of the Bristlemouth standard critically depends on the breadth of integration across the community. Currently the technology development is already an active pioneering partnership in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, Oceankind, Sofar Ocean, and a number of participating companies and academic researchers.

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“As we developed the technology internally, it was immediately clear that its true value is adoption. When ocean technology becomes cheaper to build, and we can reduce redundancy by building on one another’s shoulders - the whole ecosystem wins.”

Evan Shapiro
CTO, Sofar Ocean

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Impact

The successful adoption of the Bristlemouth standard will accelerate the ability to integrate, prototype, test, and scale ocean sensing and exploration technologies.

Bristlemouth reduces barriers to entry for marine sensing and robotics builders, by focusing efforts on the sensors and platforms they are building, and not re-inventing connectivity standards. It will open up opportunities for scaling, enable new technologies, and drive innovation needed to accelerate the Blue Economy to new levels.

Want to join the movement?

Calling all ocean builders, innovators, and technologists. Join us today to make Bristlemouth a reality and speed up ocean innovation!

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