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China uses big data to push smart ocean development

Steve Rogerson
October 5, 2016
China, as it tried to become a maritime power, is promoting the development of maritime big data and building a "smart ocean".
At last month’s China International Ocean Summit forum in Qingdao, experts expressed that big data were the emerging strategic resource, maritime big data were the scientific application of big data technology in the maritime field and maritime science had entered a new era driven by both data and knowledge.
Wu Lixin, academician at Chinese Academy of Science, said that maritime big data involved various fields including physical oceanography, marine geology, marine biology, marine ecology, marine chemistry, marine remote sensing and deep-sea observation, and physical oceanography alone had waves, humidity, salinity and other 200 data variables.
According to sources, Tsinghua University is building a remote sensing big data centre to support the development of maritime big data including ocean storm surge and inland flood monitoring and early-warning systems, marine remote sensing big data mining and analysis, and the innovative application of navigation satellites in maritime fields.
Wang Lei, from the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Science, said his institute, cooperating with Qingdao Bangbang Information, had developed the CAS Scientific & Technical Service network project, which had been operating in fish and crab farming for about three years with more than 400,000 users. Experts said this project had built a smart aquaculture and big data platform that could collect and analyse all major influential factors in farming in a comprehensive way and achieve process monitoring, environmental early-warning, data processing and technical guidance.
Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science & Technology is also dedicated to maritime big data development and building petaflop supercomputers that will be the fastest in the maritime field for China.
Wu Lixin, director of the laboratory, proposed the Transparent Ocean project, using satellite sensing, intelligent buoys, underwater gliders, underwater robots, a deep-sea space station and other equipment to acquire in real time or regular time general information on the marine environment at different depths in certain areas and support channel safety, marine ecological environment and resources safety, maritime disaster prevention, and relief and weather forecasting.