AQUO is a collaborative research project supported by the European Commission in the scope of the 7th framework program, Grant Agreement N° 314227.
The objective is the "Assessment and mitigation of noise impacts of the maritime transport on the marine environment", coordinated topic within the framework of the "Ocean of Tomorrow".
ContextRecent directives outline the need to mitigate underwater noise footprint due to shipping, to prevent negative consequences to marine life.
ObjectivesIn that context, the final goal of AQUO project was to provide to policy makers practical guidelines, acceptable by shipyards and ship owners.
The list of solutions was 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.
MethodologyThe project is supported by relevant methods and tools, which are used to assess the effectiveness of noise mitigation measures in order to select the most appropriate:
- A noise footprint assessment tool was derived from Quonops an existing operational underwater noise prediction system, connectable with AIS shipping data. The tool was adapted to the problem considered and validated by comparison with in-situ measurements at sea.
- Dedicated bio-acoustic studies were conducted on different marine species representative to European maritime areas, with the goal to derive criteria regarding shipping underwater noise acceptable limits.
- Computer methods were developed and scale model experiments were carried out to predict radiated noise from ship propellers, including cavitation effects and interaction with ship hull. These predictive techniques were validated by comparison to measurements.
- To support the analysis, several vessels, including commercial ships, were tested at sea. Indeed, the project has benefited 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 was also be produced.