Making sense of sounds
Issue: 
Provide constant wireless connectivity within sound measurement buoys deployed offshore.
Solution: 

Remotely collect and observe offshore sound data in real-time over 3G using a NetComm Wireless M2M WiFi Router with Voice (NTC-40WV).

NetComm Wireless Benefits:

  • Remote management and control
  • Real-time monitoring
  • High-speed 21Mbps WiFi
  • 3G connectivity to remote offshore locations
  • Easy custom application development with open embedded Linux platform and Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • Seamless integration with existing software and systems
  • Simple setup and installation within buoys
  • Industrial weatherproof design for durability in extreme environmental conditions

The sea environment is full of natural sounds. As well as using sound to communicate, many aquatic animals use sound to explore and survive. For the subtle sounds of the ocean to survive, the rising drone of industrial development must be carefully and consistently monitored.

The world needs industry as much as it needs to sustain optimal oceanic conditions, so the challenge for SONSETC making sense of sounds, an organisation that provides real-time detection, classification and tracking of acoustic sources, is to implement technological solutions that combine the interests of industry with the welfare of the marine environment by carefully assessing the noise impact of industrial activities such as oil and gas developments, sand and gravel extraction and the construction of offshore wind farms.

“A solution was needed to communicate with a buoy from different distances, short range WiFi and long range near shore 3G. The NTC-40WV is used on autonomous buoys to transfer acquired noise measurements and acoustic event detections (cetaceans, ships, etc). The WiFi access point mode is also used when measurements are made aboard ships to distribute the data to scientists.”

Mike van der Schaar, SONSETC

To achieve its objective, SONSETC selected NetComm Wireless’ M2M WiFi Router with Voice (NTC-40WV) for installation within buoys deployed at sea. The NTC-40WV is used to gather real-time information on human-generated sound levels, immediately detecting and alerting SONSETC to acoustic events that interfere with the natural sounds of marine animals.

The NTC-40WV creates a high-speed WiFi network and supports multiple 3G standards (UTMS/HSDPA/HSUPA), allowing SONSETC to measure sounds from remote locations.

SONSETC utilises the TR-069 remote management feature of the device to collect and analyse data in real-time from any computer, while also remotely diagnosing and resolving issues without needing to recover the buoy to upgrade firmware or check device settings. “It allows us to access data and to configure as well as monitor the acquisition process remotely without buoy recovery - saving us time and money.” Another key requirement was durability in extreme temperatures and turbulent offshore weather conditions. Developed with industrial strength components and rugged hardware features, the NTC-40WV has proven to operate effectively in harsh open ocean conditions, “the modem performs well in the conditions in which we placed it.”

SONSETC offers a customised approach to fulfil diverse customer requirements. Whether the need is to automatically detect predetermined acoustic events, classify and localise acoustic sources, or continuously monitor noise in real-time, the NTC- 40WV features an open management platform with a Software Development Kit (SDK), giving SONSETC the freedom to install custom software that processes live data streams that remain connected in all circumstances with the support of multi-system monitoring.

Developed with simple setup in mind, the device was easy to install. “Configuration of the device has so far been straightforward without difficulties.” The NTC-40WV also combines Ethernet connectivity; circuit switched voice connectivity for the ability to make calls using a standard phone over a 3G network; powerful processors; flexible power options; GPS support; high-performance antennas and wireless security – giving SONSETC making sense of sounds the tools needed to maintain the right balance between industrial development and a flourishing marine environment.

Real-time data is available from http://www.listentothedeep.net/.

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