Connected Oceans with Bristlemouth: Bridging Public and Private Sector to launch Open Standard

Special Session (TH2): Connected Oceans with Bristlemouth: Bridging Public and Private Sector to launch Open Standard

Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021, 1040-1200

Location: Town & Country Ballroom A


Session Convener:  Blanche Minoza, MissionC2

Session Co-convener:  Caroline Venza, MissionC2

Moderators:  Liesl Hotaling, Vice President of Publications and Communications, MTS

Justin Manley, President-Elect MTS


  1. Mike Wardlaw, Program Manager, ONR
  2. John Waterston, Program Manager, DARPA
  3. Jason Thompson, CTO, Oceankind
  4. Tim Janssen, CEO, Sofar Ocean


Session Summary:

Data and technology are the backbone of the blue economy. All sectors (shipping, fishing, energy, minerals, tourism, etc.) rely on data and new marine technologies to support services and supply chains; for prediction of ocean and atmospheric weather conditions; and to generate new, information-based solutions, which are critical to understand, and sustainably interact with, our ocean environment. Technological innovations that are accessible, relevant and scalable are necessary to achieve the next level of blue economy growth, but innovation and scaling in marine sensing has been severely hampered by the lack of suitable connectivity standards. Development and successful adoption of such standards require open and active collaboration between academia, industry, philanthropy and government organizations.

The panel conversation between members from industry, philanthropy and government organizations will discuss the benefits of open standards and connectivity for ocean intelligence, and how the sectors are collaborating to drive critical technology development for our oceans. In particular, we will discuss the development and launch of the Bristlemouth connectivity standard, a new open standard for marine connectivity. The Bristlemouth connectivity standard aims to emulate the development of universally-used technologies such as USB and CubeSat.

We will also discuss the Ocean Community Ecosystem And Networked Society (OCEANS) 2.0 program that will serve as an aggregator of relevant stakeholders to develop independent open protocols and facilitate the introduction of ocean technology to the user ecosystem (industry, government and academia) which powers the blue economy.

The conveners are planning two key events to be announced at this Oceans 2021 MTS/IEEE Special Session:

  • The launch of Bristlemouth, an open-source “undersea USB” standard for ocean intelligence, and
  • The winner of the Forecasting Floats in Turbulence (FFT) competition hosted by DARPA in collaboration with Sofar. This competition distributes $50K in prize money to winners of the ocean float position prediction challenge.