• Seismic Surveys & Airguns

    A seismic survey is conducted when compressed air streams or focused sonic waves are sent towards the ocean floor in order to gauge the depth, location and structure of the valuable geophysical resources that lie underneath.  Scientists confirm that seismic surveys increase noise levels to twice the normal level and impact marine life by disturbing their habits essential for survival. One of the biggest culprits of underwater noise is the technique used during seismic surveys to prospect for oil and gas offshore. Companies use high-volume air guns that are so loud, you can see the water rise and fall when the guns go off.  The devices, towed behind vessels that trace grids on the ocean surface, emit blasts of compressed air that both energy companies and conservationists acknowledge are at least as loud as a roaring jet engine. The use of airguns unavoidably results in noise pollution in the surrounding area. The acoustic impacts on marine mammals associated with seismic surveys for oil & gas can be reduced if frequently mitigated with the use of passive acoustics. To ensure that marine mammals are not harmed when in the close vicinity of these activities, regulatory authorities request so-called mitigation measures for their protection. One of such measures requires airguns to be switched off when whales approach the respective sound source too closely.

  • Pipeline Leak Detection

    Hydrophones can be used as acoustic leak detectors because they identify the sound or vibration induced by water escaping from pipelines under pressure. When pressurized water leaks from a pipe it creates a sound or an acoustic signal that can travel through both the pipe wall and the water column in the pipeline. Most of the existing acoustic leak-detection techniques rely on external measurements of sound emitted from the turbulent jet of water escaping the pipe.

  • Machine Health Monitoring

    Hydrophones can be used to monitor the health of underwater machinery. Attaching a hydrophone is not only beneficial for monitoring the health of the machine, but also for the operator as the hydrophone becomes an additional sensor. The hydrophone as a sensor can help provide direction as sound will indicate when the operator has run the machine into an object underwater and has to manoeuvre around it.

  • Offshore wind farms

    Offshore wind projects are expected to increase significantly in number and magnitude, amplifying their potential impact on the marine environment. Offshore wind projects have the potential to introduce noise to the marine environment via the construction process, turbine operation, and increased vessel traffic due to construction and maintenance, but pile driving associated with the construction process generally introduces the highest noise levels. Passive acoustic monitoring provides a unique opportunity to track noise levels, biological activities, and to characterize the local marine soundscape before, during and after wind farm development. The loud impulses produced during pile driving are believed to be sufficiently powerful to affect the hearing of marine mammals. For this reason, hydrophones are often used to monitor for animals before pile driving starts and during piling operations. Ocean Sonics can manufacture a reduced sensitivity hydrophone specifically for pile driving operations.

  • Pile driving

    Anthropogenic noise has increased drastically in recent years due to the rise in ocean infrastructure development. Pile driving, the practice of pounding long hollow steel pipes called piles into the ocean floor, is required to support underwater structures such as turbines. Pile driving is used to drill turbines into the ocean floor for the purpose of tapping into natural energy sources such as oil, gas, and wind. Pile driving is also used to build bridges and piers. Pile driving has the potential to produce some of the loudest anthropogenic sounds that enter the marine environment.

    Ocean Sonics produces hydrophones which are specially designed for regulatory compliance with pile driving. The icListen SC2-X2 is specially calibrated to monitor the loud noise levels which come with pile driving. Our complete bundle includes all the required accessories; Launch Box, Cables, Lucy Software, to easily and instantly monitor sound levels while pile driving for bridges and piers. Reach out to our sales team and let them know about your project to have them prepare a custom hydrophone package designed for marine pile driving for your bridge or pier.

  • Hydroelectric dams

    The procurement and timely evaluation of instrumentation data are primary prerequisites for determining the conditions of dams. Portable instruments, such as hydrophones, have been useful in the investigation of deficiencies in dams and have been used effectively to locate leaks. Hydrophones have been particularly useful in measuring leakage through the concrete facings of rockfall embankments where the disruption of the slab joints, or cracks in panels, were primary sources of leakage. The test involves the comparison between background sound intensity with intensity measured in the vicinity of leaks. The hydrophone can be lowered off the side of a boat located over the points of the suspected leakage.

  • Wave Energy

    The world’s tides, ocean waves and river currents all contain kinetic and potential energy that can be used to drive turbines and produce electricity—reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. The energy in waves comes from the movement of the ocean and the changing heights and speed of the swells. Waves get their energy from the wind. The wind comes from solar energy. Waves gather, store, and transmit this energy thousands of miles with little loss. As long as the sun shines, wave energy will never be depleted. Wave power is renewable, green, pollution-free, and environmentally invisible, if not beneficial, particularly offshore.

  • Tidal Energy

    Tidal energy is a renewable source of electricity which does not result in the emission of gases responsible for global warming or acid rain associated with fossil fuel generated electricity. Unlike wind and waves, tidal currents are far more predictable and reliable. We can predict the movement of the tides today, tomorrow, and in 300 years from now. Tidal barrages are undersea tidal turbines, like wind turbines but driven by the sea, harnessing undersea currents. Tidal turbines do not have to spin as fast as windmills to generate power, because water is roughly 800 times denser than air. Energy can be harnessed from the tides in two ways: using the change in height of the tides, and using the flow of the water.