Following a contract signed on 15th May 2013, echosounders from KONGSBERG will play a part in the American Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), for the monitoring subsea life along both US coasts. OOI is a cable-based array of scientific sensors designed to monitor the marine habitat. Everything from fish and plant life, to chemical, physical and geological changes will be measured.
"Given the global climate changes, it is vital for researchers to learn as much as possible about ocean life and any changes that are taking place. This type of technology gives insight into what changes are actually taking place over time," explains Frank Reier Knudsen, marine biologist and business development manager at Kongsberg Maritime.
International scientists need more to learn more about life in the sea. Now they have new technology at their disposal. Using KONGSBERG echosounders, scientists can study marine mammals such as whales, as well as fish and plankton. They can also monitor climate variations in marine ecosystems, to mention just a few of the options available.
"This information is crucial, for example, for implementing the global measures needed to protect the tremendous biodiversity of marine life," continues Reier Knudsen.
It is not only along the US coasts where environmental experts are building up this kind of monitoring network. Similar initiatives are taking off on the coasts of Australia, Canada and Africa, as well as in Norway's own Arctic waters of Lofoten. The Norwegian Ocean Observatory Network (NOON), with which Kongsberg Maritime is affiliated, is a project designed to monitor the complex environmental and climatic changes resulting from global warming. Kongsberg Maritime is providing Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and satellite surveillance, among other services. The research material makes it possible to observe changes over time throughout the ecosystem and to see how they affect ocean currents, commercial fishing and installations, and possibly even to examine the effects of the offshore industry.
"For Kongsberg Maritime, it is exciting to be chosen as a partner for the OOI contract. It also offers a golden opportunity for testing our technical environmental monitoring solutions on real applications in collaboration with others. The contract will help us to gain valuable experience for further developing our solution to meet future scenarios and monitoring requirements. At the same time, we are very pleased to see that KONGSBERG's technology and expertise in this area are becoming more visible," comments Arild Brevik, Business Development, Subsea Environmental Monitoring.
The technical solution being supplied under the OOI contract is part of KONGSBERG'S total solution for subsea environmental monitoring. The solution encompasses stationary and mobile sensor platforms, integrated subsea arrays of sensors and topside systems.
"The technical solutions are under continuous development. We're looking forward to collaborating on OOI with our US colleagues," concludes Brevik.