Standards Activities

Welcome to the OES Standing Committee on Standards

The OES Standing Committee on Standards aims at promoting the development and widespread use of standards and interoperability of collected data in the domain of ocean science and technology. By that, ocean observations can be assigned agreed upon quality levels and ensure more efficient and sustainable use of ocean data and information. With OES having strong links to manufacturers of ocean instruments the competitive advantages of products following accepted standards will be discussed and adequate future strategies developed. The involvement of students into standard activities will be ensured by organizing dedicated workshops & symposia.

OES is striving to closely coordinate standardization activities with IEEE SA – The IEEE Standards Association ( Links to other standardization organizations like OGC and ISO also exist.

Why Standards

Standards serves the purpose to

  • ensure that products and services are comparable in their functional scope and that they had been qualified in a similar manner. As an example, manufacturers can only claim the same accuracy for their instrument when they had been tested with equivalent methods
  • facilitate interoperability and interchangeability of product and services. This will be necessary if ocean observations in different parts of the world shall be made compatible
  • overcome disparate operating procedures that often can be observed within different ocean observing networks

Therefore, standards are so important and useful. However, with all introduced standards there is a certain overhead and cost involved to adopting standards, and the benefits have to outweigh those costs.

By no means the issue of a standard that’s inadequate or quickly outdated will be neglected in the anticipated discussions.

Being the Point of Contact for ocean engineering standards

The OES Standing Committee on Standards is an international coordinating committee of experts with a vested interest in expanding the use of proven standards covering all hardware and software aspects of the data collection and dissemination aspect. The Committee will have a close exchange with those OES members who are spearheading the Ocean Best Practices System ( as Best Practices are seen as an intermediate step to establish new standards.

Figure 1: The Ocean Best Practices System Web Page (OBPS)
Figure 2: As an example for standards: Offshore operations are primary candidates for new standards, for instance in ROV operations

As an example for an expressed need for standards in the domain of ocean engineering ROVs shall be mentioned. They form the backbones for underwater intervention operations and the need for exchanging best practices and following standard procedures soon became obvious.

There are a couple of other ROV standards already existing in industry

and others published by ISO

Within underwater digital acoustic communication there is the JANUS Standard although even if it’s a NATO standard it’s free and open to everyone to use (completely public)

Ongoing Activities

OES Standards Committee will maintain a dialog between other IEEE Societies and Councils on issues related to standards. When a new one comes out it will be announced through the OES webpage, to inform those other societies and councils who might have an interest be notified of it.

Some examples of ocean science related standards:

Ocean Systems Engineering

The field of Ocean Engineering embraces the practices of formal Systems Engineering as part of its process. As such, the IEEE Ocean Engineering Society Standards Committee cooperates closely with the IEEE Systems Council Standards Committee on matters related to Ocean Systems Engineering. The IEEE Systems Council Standards Committee does not produce new standards related to the discipline of systems engineering since this field is involved more with processes and methodologies than with a set of specific standards per se.  However, these two IEEE Standards Committees can recommend, as guidance, specific documents, texts, guidelines, etc. related to employing systems engineering principles which are commonly accepted in academia, industry, and government from various countries. A list of examples follows on their website at:

Meet the Technical Committee
Christoph Waldmann University of Bremen, MARUM, Germany
Tom O’Reilly Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, USA
Fan Jiang National Center of Ocean Standards and Metrology of SOA, Tian Jin, China
Xianbo Xiang Lab of Advanced Robotic Marine Systems, School of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Wuhan, China
Bob McCummins Jr. LEIDOS, Reston, VA, USA
Fausto Ferreira LABUST, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Shashikant Patil Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering Department, Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering, Shirpur, India
Tomorou Yamada Japan
Steve Holt KBR, Inc. (USA)