Subacoustech has been established for over 20 years as a specialist underwater acoustics consultancy. Over this period we have developed extensive expertise and experience in the measurement and modelling of anthropogenic underwater noise from a wide range of different sources and development activities.
The past 5 years has seen a significant increase in demand for our services in assisting developers to understand and mitigate the impact of underwater noise on marine fauna in order to achieve consent for a range of proposed developments. These include oil and gas installations, port developments, tidal energy devices and offshore wind farms (Subacoustech have provided consultancy services in support of the majority of offshore wind farms in the UK). Our expertise in this area covers all associated aspects of the consenting process, assessment of baseline noise levels, modelling the impact of construction and operational noise, assessment of mitigation measures and measurement of construction and operational noise levels.
As a result of almost 20 years experience of measuring the underwater noise from development activities (including piling, blasting, drilling, dredging and seismic surveys) Subacoustech has what is believed to be the largest database of high quality recordings of underwater noise available. This is used as a significant reference source and to refine and validate modelling techniques.
There are currently significant gaps in the understanding of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment so, in addition to consultancy services, Subacoustech also undertakes research projects to improve the body of knowledge in this area. Current on-going work includes research into the impact of noise on the behaviour of fish in their natural habitat (collaborative research undertaken for DEFRA) and work to establish a method for monitoring and assessing the impact of noise on commercial divers. Other research work has resulted in the proposed dBht (species) that is generally accepted as a criteria for analysing noise in respect of behavioural effects of different marine species.
Innovation and Development
In the past the study of underwater noise was largely limited to academic or military purposes and the equipment required was often expensive, cumbersome and largely unsuitable for short term consultancy work. As such, Subacoustech has developed the skills required to design and commission equipment that is portable, cost effective and more suited to meeting the ever changing needs of our consultancy clients.
As a result of the need to develop equipment in support of our consultancy services, Subacoustech has expert knowledge of transducer technology, signal processing, software, electronics and mechanical design. This knowledge and experience has been applied in the development of innovative products and solutions for use in applications beyond underwater acoustics.
Our approach to innovation has resulted in a number of patented technologies and we have partnered with other companies to bring products to market. One such solution has been the design and development of an underwater acoustic deterrent system resulting in the formation of a dedicated company (Fish Guidance Systems) to further develop and market the solution.