Enhanced Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) with Orcanode

In continuation of my previous blog post where I talked about the idea behind Orcanode software and steps taken to make hydrophone data more accessible, I will talk more about the improvements made in data accessibility and events that took place during the second phase of my Google Summer of Code experience.

Previously, we were able to successfully fetch miniSEED data, transcode it to HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) segments and upload them to an AWS S3 bucket. The streaming of these segments was tested using Bitmovin HLS/MPEG/DASH player. For testing whether the correct format was being pulled and that the audio streams were working as expected, there was a requirement for some fixed timestamps which had some interesting sounds. The list of such bioacoustic events and their timestamps can be found in the OOI/RSN hydrophone event log.

We also decided to add continuous integration tests using GitHub Actions for the Orcanode repository. These tests are mainly the dockerized tests to push the docker image to Docker Hub.

We also planned to handle all the major tasks using a cloud service. Initially we thought of AWS Lambda but on Valentina’s suggestion switched to AWS Lightsail, since it is more suited for containerized applications. This part of the project requires a bit more research and I plan to continue with this beyond the GSoC 2022 term.

Apart from the technical work, I also got to experience speaking at an event and sharing my work with various researchers/technologists and receiving their feedback. Some of the notable events are as follows:

  • Interaction with Tom Denton, a researcher at Google working in the field of bioacoustics.
  • A meeting with the HALLO group which consists of people from Canada working on open ML models and annotated data.
A snapshot from the HALLO meeting
  • HALLO workshop organized at Simon Fraser University, Canada which I joined remotely. Link to the slides that I presented.

My Experience as a Contributor at Orcasound

My experience in these 3 months have been nothing short of amazing. A long-term goal of mine was to become a GSoC contributor but I did not expect the experience to be so enriching. I did not completely understand the goal behind this project in the beginning but with time I got to know its importance – simply speaking, I did my little part in conserving endangered orcas.

Orcanode was completely different from the projects I have previously worked on, which were all web based; therefore it was challenging for me to get used to the codebase and how it all works. After the first few code contributions, I got more comfortable and subsequent issues were relatively easy to handle.

The bi-weekly meetings with my mentors helped a lot here to come up with new ideas to tackle any given issue. In addition to that the events held for GSoC 2022 contributors as mentioned above were a great way to reflect on all the things we were able to accomplish this summer. In conclusion I would encourage all readers and open source enthusiasts to get involved in the Orcasound community and in its noble cause as it has a lot to offer you irrespective of your domain of work.

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