Barnacles to browsers: full-stack coastal monitoring

Ms Sharon Tickell1, Mr Jonathan Hodge1, Mr Erin Kenna1, Mr Daniel Wild1, Mr  Geoffrey Carlin1, Mr Fry Gary1, Mr Brendon Dando1

1CSIRO, St Lucia, Australia


Combining the increasing ubiquity of internet-enabled, solar powered sensors with an apparently limitless need for observational data to feed into coastal models, the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Coastal Informatics team has implemented a full-stack coastal monitoring system that can deliver water quality data collected by remote sensors all the way through to public facing web applications.

This monitoring stack began life with three sensor deployments on the Logan and Albert rivers as part of the TERN supersites program. It now has more than 5,000 data and metadata streams contributing water quality observations from locations all along the  Queensland coast.

The implementation of this monitoring stack presented several challenges, from the logistical issues that come with maintaining sensor hardware in often remote tropical areas, to difficulties visualising time-series data in a memory-limited, browser-based web application.

I will give an overview of our current and planned technology choices, of the types of data that are currently available, and will discuss what it might take to expand the current coastal monitoring stack into a production-grade data service that is able to feed predictive environmental models.


Sharon is a software engineer who specializes in distributed application development, and DevOps for research data services.  She has been a system administrator for several ongoing projects, including eReefs, and the ACEF and AusCover facilities of TERN.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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