This proposal presents a new approach to improve data preservation and accessibility ? the Rolling Deck to Repository (R2R) Project ? a comprehensive plan for fleet-wide data management. R2R will be a central shore-side data gateway through which underway data from each expedition are routinely cataloged and transmitted from UNOLS ship operators to long-term national archives. R2R will provide essential data documentation services including the production of standardized cruise-level metadata, data inventories, navigation products, and an operations report for every expedition. Tools for routine logging of over-the-side sensor deployments and sampling stations will be developed and deployed to facilitate creation of a sampling ?event log? for each cruise. In partnership with the Shipboard Automated Meteorological and Oceanographic System (SAMOS; http://samos.coaps.fsu.edu/) Data Assembly Center (DAC), R2R protocols will be established for near real-time transfer and automated Quality Assessment (QA) of meteorological and thermosalinograph data providing direct feedback to operators while the cruise is underway. R2R will coordinate the development of routines for post-cruise QA of underway data types, with initial development focused on geophysical sensors (multibeam sonar, subbottom profilers, magnetics, gravity), and subsequent expansion to other sensors (CTD, ADCP, etc). Using R2R tools, underway data will be categorized and sufficiently documented for submission to long-term National Data Centers (NDCs) operated by NOAA, and to DACs specialized in the reduction and analysis of specific data types. Our approach will be to leverage and augment the existing centralized information resources of the UNOLS office, ship operators, and NDCs to facilitate the documentation and delivery of oceanographic data from ?rolling deck? to ?repository.? Our vision is that working directly with ship operators and technicians will ensure more complete and consistent acquisition, quality, preservation, and dissemination of these high-value data, thereby transforming the academic fleet into an integrated global observing system.
Broader Impacts: Access to research vessels is becoming increasingly more expensive and difficult. The R2R project will help to leverage these costs for the benefit of the entire ocean science community and any other potential users of the data that will be routinely collected, checked and properly archived. As the proposers state, this will essentially make the UNOLS fleet an observatory system that will have coastal, regional and global scope, providing data sets useful to current and future researchers. Going forward with this project, even though it may seem expensive will in the long run make our investment in the research vessels, instrumentation and operational costs much more cost effective.