Field and laboratory validation, testing, demonstration, and operation are critical steps for increasing the technology readiness level of marine energy converters because they provide high-quality testing and performance data. These data are critical information used to feed all aspects of technology development as shown in Figure 1. Without quality test data, technologies may move forward with insufficient feedback on their design. This leads to design revisions at higher TRLs to correct mistakes, thus increasing project costs and development timelines. Additionally, lack of quality data may require use of higher safety factors to account for uncertainty. In the worst case, poor quality data can lead to false conclusions and faulty designs that do not work as predicted or result in a failure or personal injury.
Obtaining quality data for marine energy systems is challenging because it requires knowledge and hands-on experience with many types of measurements, an intuition for expected device operation, as well as a strong understanding of sensors and instrumentation; signal conditioning, protection and routing; data processing; similitude; testing; accepted practices and standards; and sensor operation and protection in marine environments. Even with adequate sensors and instruments that have been appropriately selected and installed, quality assurance and control (QA/QC) is needed to ensure data are fit for their intended use, and to flag data that do not meet quality standards.
This project focuses on the data processing (data ingestion, reduction, conditioning, manipulation, calculation and visualization) and QC. It leverages prior investments by the US Department of Energy, the offshore engineering and measurement community, the MRE sector, and the Navy to empower the MRE community with Standardized, open-source, turnkey extensible data processing and QC software solutions that are discoverable and accessible and that have been verified by relevant experts.