Recent directives outline the need to mitigate underwater noise footprint due to shipping, to prevent negative consequences to marine life. In that context, the final goal of AQUO project is to provide to policy makers practical guidelines, acceptable by shipyards and ship owners. The list of solutions will be split into solutions regarding ship design (including propeller and cavitation noise), and solutions related to shipping control and regulation. Exploitation of the AQUO project results is expected to have significant impacts, meeting the requirements of the MSFD.
The project is supported by relevant methods and tools, which will be used to assess the effectiveness of noise mitigation measures in order to select the most appropriate:
- A noise footprint assessment tool will be derived from Quonops an existing operational underwater noise prediction system, connectable with AIS shipping data. The tool will be adapted to the problem considered and validated by comparison with in-situ measurements at sea.
- Dedicated bio-acoustic studies will be conducted on different marine species representative to European maritime areas, with the goal to derive criteria regarding shipping underwater noise acceptable limits.
- Computer methods will be developed and scale model experiments will be done to predict radiated noise from ship propellers, including cavitation effects and interaction with ship hull. These predictive techniques will be validated by comparison to measurements.
- To support the analysis, several vessels, including commercial ships, will be tested at sea. Indeed, the project will benefit from the strong expertise of the consortium in the field of ship noise and vibrations, relying on long term experience on many ships, and a dedicated database. A proposal for ship Underwater Radiated Noise measurement European standard will also be produced.
The consortium is a well-balanced team composed of ship industry, specialized companies, a classification society, research centers and academics. Different European countries are represented. The team includes a large panel of specialists covering the different technical topics to address, allowing a multi-disciplinary approach.
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