Underwater Acoustic Monitoring     


Mark Purcell photo

Underwater Acoustic Monitoring - overview

IBM Research – Ireland is collaborating in a large multi-year Underwater Acoustic Monitoring project to develop a scientific understanding of any environmental impact associated with ocean wave energy conversion devices. Developing this understanding is key to unlocking the ability to commercialise wave energy devices globally. The west coast of Ireland boasts one of the largest concentrations of wave energy in the world and this research looks to unlock the ability to begin to harness the gigawatts of untapped power dissipating off Ireland’s shores.

This research is designing and developing a distributed system to monitor the underwater acoustic signature around Galway Bay, which allows for the provision of advanced analytics for oceanic background noise levels, marine species recognition, and population estimates. This challenge represents one of the largest ever continuous collections of underwater acoustic data and will provide us with the knowledge to open the door to commercial wave energy. This advanced knowledge of underwater sound will also benefit marine research and various energy industries including oil and gas.

The system consists of a hardware and software solution with sensor and communication devices built to withstand a harsh, unpredictable environment, capable of capturing, transporting and storing at least 30 Terabytes of data over the course of a year (2012 - 2013). Analysis conducted at the IBM Research - Ireland lab will be powered by IBM InfoSphere Streams and IBM Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) for Smarter Cities.

The Collaboration
The project brings together technical and industry experts and government agencies led by IBM, Marine Institute, and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). It places Ireland and IBM Research in a lead role within Europe and globally in establishing foundational platforms for this new area of sustainable energy and industry capabilities.

The Team
Our team combines research and technical expertise in streaming, advanced networking, deep analytics and cloud technologies; Harry Kolar, Mark Purcell, Michael Barry, Antonino Castelfranco, and Albert Akhriev.

This project is supported by a grant issued under the Ocean Energy Industry Prototype fund, administered by the Ocean Energy Development Unit in SEAI.

Press Releases
IBM, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland Focus on Renewable Energy