The aim is to protect marine flora and fauna by mitigating underwater noise footprints due to shipping. Guidelines will be drafted for the design of future naval and commercial vessels and for maritime traffic control.
This collaborative project – dubbed AQUO∗ – will be led by DCNS Research and undertaken by a consortium of partners over a period of three years. The consortium comprises shipbuilding professionals, specialised companies, a classification society and research centres from eight EU countries. The project will benefit from a multidisciplinary approach and the expertise of the consortium’s members in ship noise and vibration. DCNS will contribute its solid scientific and technical expertise in acoustic discretion.
Assessing species-specific tolerance levels and the impact of maritime traffic
“For the first phase, we will ask research teams to determining biologically acceptable noise limits for different species (mammals, fishes, cephalopods) representative of European maritime zones by diving in situ amid fauna communities,” explains Christian Audoly, head of DCNS Research’s acoustics department and technical coordinator for the AQUO project. “In parallel with this work, we will investigate ships as noise generators. Measurements of radiated noise levels produced by propulsion systems, propellers and other sources of noise and vibration will be used to plot ship noise footprints. This field and laboratory work will add to our current knowledge in bioacoustics while enabling us to establish baselines.”
Towards new standards for acoustic discretion
With a view to designing and building quieter ships, the AQUO project will also result in practical guidelines and recommendations, and possibly even new shipbuilding standards. To ensure compliance with bioacoustic radiated noise targets, innovative solutions will be proposed for ship structures, shipboard systems and equipment and propulsors. These new baselines should also lead to changes in maritime traffic regulations.
The AQUO project comes under the European Commission’s Marine Strategy Framework directive of 2008 which aims to protect the marine environment and achieve ‘good environmental status’.
DCNS Research (dcnsgroup.com) brings together all Group activities involving research & technology. R&D builds on basic research and theory to yield applications vital to the design and development of new products and services. With facilities at the Group’s Nantes and Toulon centres, DCNS Research focuses on the main R&D areas applicable to naval defence and energy, including hydrodynamics, propulsors, shipboard systems, mechanical and energy systems, automatic control, UxVs, structure-fluid interactions, corrosion physical chemistry, mechanical testing & metallography, non-destructive testing, materials science, algorithms, acoustics, IT architecture, electromagnetism, virtual security, multiphysical optimisation and human factors.
T: + 33 (0)1 40 59 53 57 / + 33 (0)6 76 65 87 69 - E: virginie.lemiere[.]dcnsgroup.com.