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Modern science is distinguished by the extent to which its practices rely on the generation, dissemination, and analysis of data. The scale of data production and global dispersion of data resources are expected to increase even faster with new forms of instrumentation such as embedded sensor networks. CENS, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center established in 2002 [http://www.cens.ucla.edu/], supports multi-disciplinary collaborations to develop and implement innovative wireless sensor networks. Advanced sensor technology is being deployed in a wide variety of scientific settings, including habitat ecology, marine microbiology, environmental contaminant transport, and seismology. The CENS Deployment Center (CENSDC) is a multi-purpose web-tool and service to support CENS researchers in the capture of important contextual information surrounding scientific data acquisition. The system will aid pre-deployment planning and post-deployment knowledge transfer by using a searchable database of deployment information. The CENSDC will provide access to past, current, and future CENS deployment knowledge in a centralized web location, searchable by structured metadata such as the deployment location, technologies used, and participating students, staff, and faculty. The CENSDC will give users internal and external to CENS an overview of the wide-ranging research deployment activities. It will help to indoctrinate inexperienced individuals, streamline deployments, and increase remote staff efficiency, helping to reduce deployment errors and facilitate knowledge transfer throughout CENS. With this cross-linkable source of contextual information for CENS data available for wide use, researchers will have easy access to important documentation that may otherwise only reach a limited audience.
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