As seen in Ocean News & Technology, August 2017
While developing their next generation of subsea products, DeepSea Power & Light uncovered limitations in existing EIA-232 and EIA-485 serial protocols used throughout the subsea industry. Some systems use binary protocols difficult to operate without additional software, and others are limited in functionality and extensibility. In response, DeepSea developed the SeaSense™ protocol: an innovative serial protocol offering access to advanced on-board monitoring, diagnostic, and control technologies while improving usability and flexibility over other protocols.
A core command set and common formatting across all SeaSense-enabled products keep the basic setup and operation consistent and simple. A typical command includes an address, a command ID, an access type character which designates what operation the command performs, and optional data (Figure 1). The combination of command IDs and access types both gives flexibility to the protocol and keeps unique commands to a minimum. Using the LED SeaLite as an example, LOUT? queries the current light output, LOUT=50 sets the output to 50%, and LOUT+ or LOUT– increments or decrements from the current value.
The SeaSense protocol provides unprecedented levels of control. In addition to the basic LOUT command for the output light level, there are commands to change the dimming curve, customize and recall preset levels, change the power-on level, and limit the output power to match the available power budget. The new Multiray™ LED SeaLite extends the protocol and control with commands to select, combine, and switch the color and beam pattern of the light (Figure 2).
The SeaSense protocol is already a powerful means to expand the capabilities of subsea imaging systems. With scalable control over individual and groups of products, the utility of SeaSense-enabled systems will continue to grow as DeepSea expands their next generation of products. More information is available at https://ocean-innovations.net/companies/deepsea/products/lights/seasense-protocol/.
 VISCA is a trademark of Sony Corporation
As seen in the August 2017 issue of Ocean News & Technology magazine