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Sound evaluation and control for recreational marine craft (SOUNDBOAT)

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Safe, simple measurement of noise from motorboats

Motorboats can be lots of fun, but they can also be noisy. The new SoundBuoy is designed to ensure that the sound levels of new boats are properly measured during the certification procedure.

Industrial Technologies

The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) passed by the European Union defines thresholds for the acceptable levels of noise motorboats can emit. New boats must pass a specific test in order to acquire certification. Accurate measurement of noise levels in the marine environment is a major challenge for boat manufacturers and regulators alike. In the context of the SOUNDBOAT project, supported by the GROWTH Programme, the SoundBuoy was developed to facilitate the certification procedure. Moving beyond the traditional anchored systems of the past, the SOUNDBOAT team, led by Triskel Consultants Ltd, employed a free-floating platform. This reaps multiple benefits, including portability and the ability to approach the buoy from any direction. Another important advance was the incorporation of GPS technology and a transmitter. Information regarding noise levels and the buoy's exact position are transmitted to the test boat in real-time. A tablet PC on the boat analyses the data and advises the captain regarding course headings via a Bluetooth-enabled earpiece. The SoundBuoy is therefore safer than its predecessors as the captain is able to concentrate on steering the boat. The sound level meter aboard the SoundBuoy measures the noise levels according to the relevant ISO standard. Once the requisite data has been obtained, it is stored in an encrypted file, which is subsequently sent directly to the certification body. Alternatively, the encryption can be disabled when the system is to be used for testing purposes. Triskel Consultants Ltd and its SOUNDBOAT partners are proceeding with the commercial exploitation of the SoundBuoy.

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Scientific advances
Industrial Technologies

8 October 2019