Mrs Gloria Alvarez, elittoral, Spain
The environmental impact from maritime traffic is a growing concern of researchers and marine environment managers. Within the framework of the EU, Marine Strategy Directive (MSFD) identifies marine noise as one of the descriptors of the environmental state of the seas. In addition, the Report of the Subgroup Commission on Submarine Noise and Other Forms of Energy (2012) states: "A better understanding of the impacts of noise on biota is needed, in order to help Member States better identify the good ecological state of the seas", this item being one of the most relevant topics.
Whereas scientists have traditionally considered sudden and unusual noise impacts in the ocean caused by anthropogenic activities, today more attention is paid to the overall noise in the marine environment, including regular maritime traffic and other maritime activities. In this sense, the MMSUV (Marine Monitoring with Sailing Unmanned Vehicle) project aims to develop a technologically advanced sailboat -- autonomous by integrating low-cost, efficient and environmentally friendly technologies that provide versatile solutions to surveillance needs of maritime traffic, marine and coastal management, industrial or military activities and for scientific purposes.
The main task of the project is to develop an unmanned surface vehicle (USV), equipped with a series of sensors, in particular hydrophones, and to test/demonstrate its use for marine noise monitoring. The possibility of placing hydrophones in a place of interest without sending a manned vessel allows a low-cost response to the problems or needs of the scientific community and managers of marine areas, especially those far from the coast.
The project is made up of different public and private entities from France and Spain that have joined forces to cover the expertise needed for this proposal, ranging from ship development to data collection and transmission solutions communicating with the processing and management center ashore.