#MARINE SCIENCE - Apart from some of the world's largest concentrations of wave energy, the waters of Galway Bay and the west coast of Ireland are now providing something potentially even more valuable - information.
That's according to IBM's Harry Kolar writing for the blog A Smarter Planet, as he discusses the start of his company's new underwater data collection project developed in association with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the system comprises an array of noise sensing equipment such as hydrophones deployed in Galway Bay to monitor the noise levels produced by wave energy conversion devices in real time.
This array is attached to a large monitoring buoy about 2km from the southern shore, and constantly transmits the data it records to a receiving system on land.
The scheme, which was finally switched on last month, is an offshoot of the SmartBay initiative for developing and testing new marine technology to foster future commercial development in the fast-growing marine science sector. The 'Twitter buoy' deployed for the Volvo Ocean Race finale recently is another of the project's schemes.
"Initially, the system will capture and analyse the ambient noise of the ocean to establish a baseline of acoustics including natural and anthropogenic (man-made) sound sources including vessel traffic," writes Kolar.
"But the ultimate goal is to capture and analyse the sounds and vibrations of hulking wave energy conversion machines that have begun bobbing along off the coast and help determine what, if any impact the sound waves from those devices could have on marine life – but especially highly sensitive dolphin, porpoise, and whale populations."
A Smarter Planet has much more on the story HERE.