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Foley, S, Berger J, Orcutt JA, Vernon FL.  2010.  Advanced communications for remote ocean platforms in the coming 15 years. ( Foley S, Ed.).: American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20009 USA, [URL:] AbstractWebsite

Long-term measurements in the oceans are becoming a scientific and civil imperative that is having a profound impact on oceanography and particularly seagoing oceanography. Ocean observatories such as NSFs Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) and NOAAs Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) are providing means for making measurements of change over decadal time scales, a practice of great importance for understanding climate variability and change as well as potential for natural disasters such as tsunamis. At the same time the costs for operating ships at sea are increasing quickly (fuel, personnel, capability) and pressure is mounting for targeted community measurements in which data collected are available openly. Both of these trends drive efforts to enhance communications at sea in coming decades. Ships are now platforms for deployment and testing of new sensors that might be later deployed at fixed observatories and observatories are increasingly common; communications to these remote sites become increasingly important. Streamed real-time data from a ship or observatory allow for rapid response to new data and greater flexibility on how the science facility can be used by the community. Cost effective transfers of large blocks of data with high reliability including surety of data return, coupled with real-time streams, allow data to be analyzed quickly by shore experts and even machine-to-machine interactions, and improve the quality of information derived from science programs. For those scientists working at sea, robust communication with shore will allow for increased contributions to ongoing programs ashore. Satellite bandwidth today is still largely too expensive for personal work by individual investigators, but bandwidth will gradually decrease in price as new spacecraft are launched and more commercial operators offer service at sea. Whether paid by the minute, byte, or month, satellite communications will make increase the quality of research by making data available to a wider audience. We shall review the current use of HiSeasNet for these purposes and present anticipated enhancements of bandwidth by government and industry for the foreseeable future.