New calibration methods for underwater noise monitors will support compliance with environmental legislation.
The expansion of offshore activities such as oil and gas exploration, together with the rapid increase in commercial shipping traffic, has raised concerns about the environmental impact of man-made noise on marine life. In response, the EU introduced legislation designed to limit the impact of such noise – for example, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive mandates that all member states with oceans undertake monitoring to assess and manage noise from ship traffic. To support the implementation of this and similar legislation, Europe needed an improved metrology framework to underpin the accurate measurement of underwater noise, for which traceability is currently lacking. This project has directly addressed this need by providing traceable calibration methods for devices used to monitor underwater noise, covering a range of frequencies vital to their effective operation, and ensuring a coordinated approach to underwater acoustics across Europe.