FORESEA-backed demonstrator hits SEM-REV waters

The SEM-REV marine renewables test site, located off the western coast of France, has welcomed the installation of a demonstrator which aims to characterize underwater ambient noise as part of the Acoustics of the SEA (SEAc) project.

Monitoring equipment ahead of installation at SEM-REV (Photo: École Centrale de Nantes)

On April 12, 2018, an innovative demonstrator – including a standalone acoustic recorder from the manufacturer OSEAN, and three acoustic recorders – were installed on site in a project developed by engineering company NEREIS Environnement with the support of the European Union’s FORESEA program.

This project, looking to monitor the environment of a marine renewable energy (MRE) production site, required that an autonomous tool for recording underwater sounds and storing data at sea be installed.

Specific spectral analysis modules and detection algorithms will be used to characterize the ambient noise by classifying its various components, according to École Centrale de Nantes which developed the offshore testing site.

The data collected will be used to model the acoustic footprint of underwater noise in order to estimate the impact of MRE activities on marine fauna, École Centrale de Nantes noted.

The SEAc project was selected in the fourth call of the FORESEA program which is helping small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to test their MRE technologies at sea under real conditions, by providing access to the network of test sites in North-West Europe.

Eight projects will be tested on the SEM-REV offshore test site as part of FORESEA funding, including prototypes of MRE technologies such as Pytheas Technology’s PywEC generator or the HACE (Hydro Air Concept Energy) wave energy system.

Also, the MRE site equipment tools such as FMGC submarine electric cable ballast shells, or site maintenance and monitoring tools such as underwater drone tests developed by INTERDRONES, will be tested at the site.