VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016


Our contact at The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has provided preliminary links to data for two of the buoys that the team has deployed:



You’ve no doubt heard about “Big Data” and “The Internet of Things”. Last year I worked on contract at GE and I tracked Train Faults and also manufacturing machine faults to try to gain new insights into why these faults were happening, and what GE could do to prevent these faults. It was a fascinating job – one of the more interesting ones I’ve had in IT.

I must admit – a constellation of buoys being tracked in the same manner as what I did at GE is even more fascinating because recently I have read that we know so little about the ocean – that in a way it is a “final frontier” as far as our understanding of our planet.

Couple this “data science” regarding our oceans and their built in sensors and GPS / satellite – with Ham Radio DXers deploying these on behalf of WHOI and NOAA, and I’m sitting here in San Francisco in my Embarcadero office – looking at two old antique ships “The San Francisco Belles” and am dreaming about the South Indian Ocean. And how the San Francisco Bay is connected to Heard Island.

And right across the San Francisco Bay is UC Berkeley, where a technology called Spark was created and where this sort of data science is being analyzed – faster than ever before and in volumes never before considered. This technology is being used to try to find cures for diseases and many other critically important things. My ADT alarm system at home is all sensor and data based – with streaming data including streaming wireless cameras. Everyone gazing at their Smart phones on the BART train is using a data based radio to surf the web and watching kittens . . . . and of course VK0EK.ORG! I have handled 100 “Contact Us” support tickets via our “autopilot” system – some radio related, some from teachers at schools who are participating in this adventure, some souvenir related, some to make sure I recognize donors who haven’t been posted on our web site yet. All data related and in The Cloud.

We live in a very connected world – ocean to ocean, HF radio to radio via the ionosphere, communication via satellite and even in our data – sent and received via Smart phones using cellular (Repeaters!). WSPR – a data mode that is also HF. At the core of all of this communication and understanding is RADIO. Most of it invented by hams. Compared to 1973, when I got my first Ham Radio license in middle school – this is all stuff of science fiction.

What a Friday morning! Now where’s my coffee?


Rich, KY6R

One thought on “VK0EK and the “Internet of Oceanographic Things”

  1. Kay Schmieder says:

    Very interesting.
    And yes, watching kittens – ha,ha.
    Thanks for this “visual” image. I can “see” your view out the office window.

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