APL Home
APL-UW Home

Jobs
About
Campus Map
Contact
Intranet

Tim McGinnis

Sr. Principal Engineer

Email

tmcginnis@apl.washington.edu

Phone

206-543-1346

Research Interests

Oceanographic Equipment Design, System Engineering

Biosketch

Tim McGinnis's main interest and expertise is in deep ocean engineering and equipment design. For over 30 years, Tim has been involved with a variety of towed and bottom landing vehicle development projects, deep ocean cabled observatories, and at-sea operations for mapping, imaging, sensing, and sampling the seafloor and water column in water depths to 5000 meters. Tim joined APL-UW in 2001 and was the System Engineer for the development of the NEPTUNE/MARS power system. Since then has been involved with a number of mooring and profiler developments and deployments at the Laboratory. He is now working on the Ocean Observing Initiative Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) project where he is the lead for ROV-mateable connectors, secondary seafloor extension cables, and development of the Deep Profiler.

Department Affiliation

Ocean Engineering

Education

B.S. Engineering, University of Washington, 1983

Publications

2000-present and while at APL-UW

A smart sensor web for ocean observation: Fixed and mobile platforms, integrated acoustics, satellites and predictive modeling

Howe, B.M., Y. Chao, P. Arabshahi, S. Roy, T. McGinnis, and A. Gray, "A smart sensor web for ocean observation: Fixed and mobile platforms, integrated acoustics, satellites and predictive modeling," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Appl. Earth Obs. Remote Sens., 3, 507-521, doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2010.2052022, 2010.

More Info

1 Dec 2010

In many areas of Earth science, including climate change research and operational oceanography, there is a need for near real-time integration of data from heterogeneous and spatially distributed sensors, in particular in situ and space-based sensors. The data integration, as provided by a smart sensor web, enables numerous improvements, namely, (1) adaptive sampling for more efficient use of expensive space-based and in situ sensing assets, (2) higher fidelity information gathering from data sources through integration of complementary data sets, and (3) improved sensor calibration. Our ocean-observing smart sensor web presented herein is composed of both mobile and fixed underwater in situ ocean sensing assets and Earth Observing System satellite sensors providing larger-scale sensing.

An acoustic communications network forms a critical link in the web, facilitating adaptive sampling and calibration. We report on the development of various elements of this smart sensor web, including (a) a cable-connected mooring system with a profiler under real-time control with inductive battery charging; (b) a glider with integrated acoustic communications and broadband receiving capability; (c) an integrated acoustic navigation and communication network; (d) satellite sensor elements; and (e) a predictive model via the Regional Ocean Modeling System interacting with satellite sensor control.

PhilSea10 APL-UW Cruise Report: 5-29 May 2010

Andrew, R.K., J.A. Mercer, B.M. Bell, A.A. Ganse, L. Buck, T. Wen, and T.M. McGinnis, "PhilSea10 APL-UW Cruise Report: 5-29 May 2010," APL-UW TR 1001, October 2010.

More Info

30 Oct 2010

A team from the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington (APL-UW) conducted underwater sound propagation exercises from 5 to 29 May 2010 aboard the R/V Roger Revelle in the Philippine Sea. This research cruise was part of a larger multi-cruise, multi-institution effort, the PhilSea10 Experiment, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, to investigate the deterministic and stochastic properties of long-range deep ocean sound propagation in a region of energetic oceanographic processes. The primary objective of the APL-UW cruise was to transmit acoustic signals from electro-acoustic transducers suspended from the R/V Roger Revelle to an autonomous distributed vertical line array (DVLA) deployed in March by a team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO.) The DVLA will be recovered in March 2011.

Two transmission events took place from a location designated SS500, approximately 509 km to the southeast of the DVLA: a 54-hr event using the HX554 transducer at 1000 m depth, and a 55-hr event using the MP200/TR1446 "multiport" transducer at 1000 m depth. A third event took place towing the HX554 at a depth of 150 m at roughly 1–2 kt for 10 hr on a radial line 25–43 km away from the DVLA. All acoustic events broadcasted low-frequency (61–300 Hz) m-sequences continuously except for a short gap each hour to synchronize transmitter computer files. An auxiliary cruise objective was to obtain high temporal and spatial resolution measurements of the sound speed field between SS500 and the DVLA.

Two methods were used: tows of an experimental "CTD chain" (TCTD) and periodic casts of the ship's CTD. The TCTD consisted of 88 CTD sensors on an inductive seacable 800 m long, and was designed to sample the water column to 500 m depth from all sensors every few seconds. Two tows were conducted, both starting near SS500 and following the path from SS500 towards the DVLA, for distances of 93 km and 124 km. Only several dozen sensors responded during sampling. While the temperature data appear reasonable, only about one-half the conductivity measurements and none of the pressure measurements can be used. Ship CTD casts were made to 1500 m depth every 10 km, with every fifth cast to full ocean depth.

A smart sensor web for ocean observation: System design, modeling, and optimization

Arabshahi, P., B.M. Howe, Y. Chao, S. Roy, T. McGinnis, and A. Gray, "A smart sensor web for ocean observation: System design, modeling, and optimization," In Proceedings, NASA Earth Science Technology Forum, 22-24 June, Arlington, VA, 17 pp., 2010.

More Info

22 Jun 2010

In many areas of Earth science, including climate change research and operational oceanography, there is a need for near real-time integration of data from heterogeneous and spatially distributed sensors, in particular in-situ and space- based sensors. The data integration, as provided by a smart sensor web, enables numerous improvements, namely, 1) adaptive sampling for more efficient use of expensive space-based and in situ sensing assets, 2) higher fidelity information gathering from data sources through integration of complementary data sets, and 3) improved sensor calibration.

Our ocean-observing smart sensor web presented herein is composed of both mobile and fixed underwater in-situ ocean sensing assets and Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite sensors providing larger-scale sensing. An acoustic communications network forms a critical link in the web, facilitating adaptive sampling and calibration. We report on the development of various elements of the smart sensor web, including (a) a cable-connected mooring system with a profiler under real-time control with inductive battery charging; (b) a glider with integrated acoustic communications and broadband receiving capability; (c) an integrated acoustic navigation and communication network; (d) satellite sensor elements; and (e) a predictive model via the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) interacting with satellite sensor control.

More Publications

Seafloor drilling

McGinnis, T., "Seafloor drilling," in Drilling in Extreme Environments, edited by Y. Bar-Cohen and K. Zacny, 309-345 (Whiley-VCH: Weinheim, 2009).

1 Sep 2009

A smart sensor web for ocean observation: Integrated acoustics, satellite networking, and predictive modeling

Howe, B.M., N. Parrish, L. Tracy, A. Gray, Y. Chao, T. McGinnis, P. Arabshahi, and S. Roy, "A smart sensor web for ocean observation: Integrated acoustics, satellite networking, and predictive modeling," Proceedings, NASA Earth Science Technology Conference, 24-26 June, College Park, MD, 10 pp. (2008)

25 Jun 2008

Inductive power system for autonomous underwater vehicles

McGinnis, T., C.P. Henze, and K. Conroy, "Inductive power system for autonomous underwater vehicles," Oceans 2007, 29 September - 4 October, Vancouver, BC, 736-741 (IEEE: Piscataway, NJ, 2007).

More Info

29 Sep 2007

Underwater inductive coupling is used to recharge a lithium-ion battery pack for an underwater mooring profiler operating on a cabled deep-ocean mooring sensor network. The mooring profiler is a motor driven autonomous underwater vehicle that is attached to a vertical mooring cable suspended between the seafloor at 900 m and subsurface float structure at a depth of 160 m (to minimize wave dynamics and bio-fouling). A suite of on-board sensors record data as the mooring profiler travels along the cable which is transferred from the profiler to the sensor network and ultimately to shore over an inductive data link. The on-board batteries are charged inductively when the profiler enters a dock mounted below the float. Power transfer across the inductive couplers is approximately 240 W with 70% efficiency.

A smart sensor web for ocean observation: System design, architecture, and performance

Howe, B.M., P. Arabshahi, W.L.J. Fox, S. Roy, T. McGinnis, M.L. Boyd, A. Gray, and Y. Chao, "A smart sensor web for ocean observation: System design, architecture, and performance," Proc., NASA Science Technology Conference, 19-21 June, College Park, MD (2007).

More Info

19 Jun 2007

Much of the cost and effort of new ocean observatories will be in the infrastructure that directly supports sensors, such as moorings and mobile platforms, which in turn connect to a "backbone" infrastructure. Four elements of this sensor network infrastructure are in various stages of development, presented here: (1) a cable-connected mooring system with a profiler under real-time control with inductive battery charging; (2) a glider with integrated acoustic communications and broadband receiving capability; (3) an integrated acoustic navigation and communication network with tomography on various scales; and (4) a satellite uplink and feedback system. We also present initial results from field experiments, as well as from studies on communication performance of the underwater sensor network system under development.

Sensor network infrastructure: moorings, mobile platforms, and integrated acoustics

Howe, B.M., T. McGinnis, and M.L. Boyd, "Sensor network infrastructure: moorings, mobile platforms, and integrated acoustics," International Symposium on Underwater Technology: International Workshop on Scientific Use of Submarine Cables and Related Technologies, 47-51 (IEEE, 2007).

More Info

17 Apr 2007

Much of the cost and effort of new ocean observatories will be in the infrastructure that directly supports sensors, such as moorings and mobile platforms, which in turn connect to a "backbone" infrastructure, such as cabled seafloor nodes. Three elements of this sensor network infrastructure are in various stages of development: a cable-connected mooring system with a profiler under real-time control with inductive battery charging; a glider with integrated acoustic communications and broadband receiving capability; and integrated acoustic navigation, communications, and tomography, and ambient sound recording on various scales.

Northeast Pacific time-integrated undersea networked experiments (NEPTUNE): Cable switching and protection

El-Sharkawi, M.A., A. Upadhye, L. Shuai, H. Kirkham, B.M. Howe, T. McGinnis, and P. Lancaster, "Northeast Pacific time-integrated undersea networked experiments (NEPTUNE): Cable switching and protection," IEEE J. Ocean. Eng., 30, 232-240 (2005)

More Info

13 Jun 2005

The objective of the North East Pacific Time-Integrated Undersea Networked Experiments (NEPTUNE) is to establish a permanent, subsea observatory surrounding the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. To achieve this objective, a special power distribution system is designed to provide continuous power to science equipment, vehicles, and laboratories located as deep as 5 km below the water surface. The NEPTUNE power system is significantly different from terrestrial power systems in many aspects and it requires different switching, protection, and control strategies. In this paper, we address the design of system switching and fault isolation equipment.

Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., and T. McGinnis, "Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories," Proceedings, 2004 International Symposium on Underwater Technology, 20-23 April, 113-120, doi:10.1109/UT.2004.1405499 (IEEE, 2004).

More Info

20 Apr 2004

An infrastructure for global, regional, and coastal sub-sea observatories is being planned to support individual and networked sensors. The main emphasis has been to provide basic power and communications capability at "primary" nodes; less has been given to the sensor network infrastructure that extends the capability of the observatory into the full three-dimensional volume of interest. Secondary cabled and junction boxes are needed to extend the horizontal reach by tens to hundreds of kilometers from the primary nodes; moorings up into the water column and boreholes into the sediments and crust are necessary to extend the vertical reach. The support infrastructure must include navigation and communications systems, mobile platforms such as free-swimming autonomous undersea vehicles, and bottom rovers that carry sensors and provide data and energy "tanker" service. The requirements for these various network elements and possible solutions are discussed, with an emphasis on the design of a specific mooring for the ALOHA Observatory north of Oahu. This subsurface mooring supports a full-water-column moored profiler with a docking station that transfers power and data, enabling adaptive sampling. The subsurface float at 200 m provides a ROV-serviceable platform for near surface instrumentation, such as an upward looking acoustic Doppler current profiler and a winched sensor system.

Technologies for regional-scale cabled seafloor observatories: NEPTUNE

Howe, B.M., P.M. Beauchamp, A.D. Chave, S.J. Gaudet, H. Kirkham, A. Maffei, G. Massion, T. McGinnis, P. Phibbs, and D. Rodgers, "Technologies for regional-scale cabled seafloor observatories: NEPTUNE," Proceedings, XXIII General Assembly of IUGG, 30 June - 11 July, Sapporo, Japan, JSS03/03P/A13-009, A.170 (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, 2003).

11 Jul 2003

Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., T. McGinnis, "Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories," Scientific Use of Submarine Cables and Related Technologies, 2003. The 3rd International Workshop on, 216- 221, doi: 10.1109/SSC.2003.1224146, 25-27 June 2003

More Info

27 Jun 2003

An infrastructure for global, regional, and coastal sub-sea observatories is being planned to support individual and networked sensors. Secondary cables and junction boxes, moorings, and downbore tools could extend the horizontal reach by tens to hundreds of km from the primary cable and nodes throughout the water column and down boreholes into the crust. The support infrastructure could include navigation and communications systems, free-swimming AUVs, and bottom rovers that could carry sensors and could provide data and energy "tanker" service.

Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., and T. McGinnis, "Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories," Oceanography, 16, 25, 2003.

1 Jun 2003

The NEPTUNE power system for cabled ocean observatories: Backbone protection

Kirkham, H., B.M. Howe, V. Vorperian, T. McGinnis, M. Kenney, C.-C., Liu, M. El-Sharkawi, S. Gupta, S. Lu, K. Schneider, A. Uphadye, P. Bowerman, G. Fox, and R. Kemski, "The NEPTUNE power system for cabled ocean observatories: Backbone protection," Oceanography, 16, 47, 2003.

1 Jun 2003

Development of a power system for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., H. Kirkham, M. El-Sharkawi, P. Lancaster, C.-C. Liu, S. Lu, T. McGinnis, K. Schneider, A. Upadhye, and V. Vorperian, "Development of a power system for cabled ocean observatories," Abstract: Joint Annual Meeting, 25-28 May, Vancouver, B.C., vol. 28, 241 (Geological Association of Canada, 2003).

28 May 2003

Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., T. McGinnis, and H. Kirkham, "Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories," Abstracts: Joint Annual Meeting, 25-28 May, Vancouver, B.C., vol. 28, 143 (Geological Association of Canada, 2003).

28 May 2003

Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., T. McGinnis, H. Kirkham, "Sensor networks for cabled ocean observatories," Geophys. Res. Abstr., 5, 12598, 2003 .

More Info

11 Apr 2003

This paper considers the development of a support infrastructure for subsea observatory sensors and networks. Some sensors will be self-contained individual items, others will be part of a sensor network using, for example, secondary cables and junction boxes to extend the horizontal reach 10s to 100s of km from backbone nodes, or using moorings to distribute observatory capabilities throughout the water column and (equivalently) down boreholes into the crust. Included in the support infrastructure could be acoustic navigation and communications systems, free-swimming AUVs, and bottom rovers that could carry sensors and could provide data and energy "tanker" service. Because of the likely long term observatory application of sensors, and the high cost of access, methods of self-calibration of sensors will also be useful.

The sensor infrastructure would supplement the observatory infrastructure that is part of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). This Initiative plans to provide junction box nodes on the seafloor that furnish power and communications, and distribute time. There are three elements of the OOI: a regional scale cabled observatory (such as NEPTUNE) with dozens of nodes; a sparse global array of buoys with seafloor nodes; and an expanded system of coastal observatories. Each of these observatories will depend on suites of sensors from a number of investigators, and it is likely that once the observatory infrastructure itself has been installed and commissioned, most of the physical interaction with an observatory will be for installing, operating, servicing, and recovering sensors. These activities will be supported by the proposed infrastructure, enabling the full potential of the observatory to be reached.

Technologies for regional-scale cabled observatory infrastructure: The NEPTUNE approach

Chave, A.D., P.M. Beauchamp, S.J. Gaudet, H. Kirkham, B.M. Howe, A. Maffei, G. Massion, T. McGinnis, P. Phibbs, and D. Rodgers, "Technologies for regional-scale cabled observatory infrastructure: The NEPTUNE approach," Geophys. Res. Abstr., 5, 07745, 2003.

More Info

11 Apr 2003

Regional-scale cabled ocean observatories will enable long term measurements and interactive experiments over geographically-extended areas covering time scales ranging from microseconds to decades. In order to provide this new observing capability, a level of infrastructure functionality and reliability that is unprecedented in the ocean sciences must be provided. The key subsystems for a regional-scale cabled observatory include communications and power systems which operate seamlessly from users to shore stations to scientific instruments, a high accuracy, low latency time distribution system, an end-to-end data management and archive system, an observatory command and control system, and the physical underwater infrastructure(cable plus underwater junction boxes). The engineering for these subsytems must be tied together through system engineering and project management structures that ensure mutual compatibility while meeting schedule and budgetary constraints. This paper will describe the NEPTUNE experience and future plans in all of these areas.

Real-time control and protection of the NEPTUNE power system

Schneider, K., C-C. Liu, T.M. McGinnis, B.M. Howe, and H. Kirkham, "Real-time control and protection of the NEPTUNE power system," Proceedings, Oceans '02 MTS/IEEE Conference, Biloxi, MS, 29-31 October, doi:10.1109/OCEANS.2002.1191906, (IEEE, 2002).

More Info

31 Oct 2002

The NEPTUNE power delivery system faces several challenges in serving the needs of the oceanographic community. Two major challenges, operating the system under normal conditions and protecting it against faults, require the development of new approaches unfamiliar to power engineers. In particular, the power management system must cope with several modes of potential system instability, and the protection system must operate in a deliberately weak system. Furthermore, it is likely that communications will be disrupted in the event of a fault. The approach taken to address these challenges is described.

Development of a power system for cabled ocean observatories

Howe, B.M., H. Kirkham, V. Vorperian, T. McGinnis, C-C. Liu, M. El-Sharkawi, K. Schneider, A. Upadhye, and S. Gupta, "Development of a power system for cabled ocean observatories," Eos Trans. AGU, 83, OS72B-O369, 2002.

More Info

1 Oct 2002

Cabled Ocean Observatories offer the potential to delivery unprecedented amounts of power to remote instruments and sensors. The availability of sufficient power will enable new instrumentation and methods. Here we describe the present NEPTUNE power system design which will be capable of delivering an average of approximately 4 kW or a maximum of 10 kW to over 40 seafloor node locations spread over approximately 100,000 sq nm of seafloor. The system will have a backbone of 3500 km of standard seafloor telecommunications cable connecting the nodes in a mesh topology. The network will have 10 kVdc parallel feed, distributed stochastic load, and constant voltage output. A network of secondary extension cables will be developed that will allow the network to be extended up to 100 km from the backbone. The backbone cable has a single power conductor so a seawater ground return will be used. High availability and reliability over the 30 year life of the system is an important consideration in design and construction of the system. It is anticipated that faults will occur in the node electronics, cables, etc., so a protection system is being incorporated to allow faulted sections to be isolated and then to utilize the mesh topology to minimize impact on the rest of the system.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center
Close

 

Close

 

Close