Achieve QUieter Oceans by shipping noise footprint reduction
AQUO project is developed in the context of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) adopted in 2008 by the European Union, in order to contribute to marine environmental protection. Recent researches outline the need to mitigate underwater noise footprint due to shipping, to prevent adverse effects to marine life. In this context, the project is expected to achieve important scientific and technical advances, and to bring significant impacts by providing policy makers with practical solutions.
AQUO project will propose solutions regarding ship design, including propeller and cavitation noise, and solutions related to shipping control and regulation. Main objectives are the following:
• develop and validate a shipping underwater noise footprint assessment tool related to AIS (Automatic Identification System) data,
• improve and/or validate models and methods to predict radiated noise from ship propellers, taking into account cavitation phenomena and interaction effects,
• propose a standard for ship underwater radiated noise measurement method,
• develop new vibro-acoustic measurements tools and methods applied to real experiments at sea,
• establish criteria and good practices for noise protection on marine life, based on analysis of available data and specific bioacoustic experiments on representative marine species,
• establish a list of design improvement solutions to reduce ship underwater radiated noise, without reducing fuel efficiency of the ship,
• establish practical guidelines to reduce shipping noise for a quieter ocean, providing responses to the needs of policy makers.
Most technical results will be available to general public through the publication of reports, the website and the scientific community. Wide dissemination of results will be done through technical reports, scientific papers, and a dedicated conference on ship vibro-acoustics and impact on marine life. In addition, links are being established with stakeholders in the maritime sector (e.g. shipyards, ship owners, end users) in order to discuss the research results and their applicability. The project is expected to have a large impact on design guidelines for new ships and on ship traffic control.
The project is supported by different methods and tools, which will be used to assess the effectiveness of noise mitigation measures in order to select the most appropriate ones. For example, we can outline the underwater noise footprint assessment tool derived from an existing operational system, connectable with AIS shipping data and able to run in real time, dedicated bioacoustic studies conducted on different marine species in order to derive criteria regarding shipping underwater noise acceptable limits, and experiments at sea on different ships, including commercial vessels. AQUO will closely cooperate with the SONIC project, which will adopt a complementary approach on cavitation noise.