OBSEA

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Project title and acronym

FISHAUT: Analysis of FISH community structure and trophic relationships by AUTomated video imaging at a coastal cabled observatory

Host facility

OBSEA

Modality of Access

MoA1 – Remote (the presence of the user is not required at any time during the access period)

Description

Coastal-cabled observatories have been indicated as new and promising technological tools to monitor fish assemblages in marine systems (Aguzzi et al., 2013). In addition, these devices can be successfully employed to monitor and to understand the responses of fish species to both environmental drivers and human stressors. Recent long-term monitoring data in temperate areas have demonstrated community changes over periods ranging from days to entire seasons (Condal et al., 2012; Aguzzi et al., 2013). Large amount of data can be acquired allowing explore species interactions and behavioral components along with temporal variability. Yet, Mediterranean fish biodiversity is undergoing rapid changes due to the rise of water temperature and because of the increasing success of thermophile biota (e.g. Azzurro et al., 2011),  Thus, a continuous and long-term monitoring of fish assemblages may offer significant advances to interpret and foresee these ongoing changes under a climate change scenario. So far long-term data obtained by cabled observatories have been only  little  exploited  due  to  methodological  difficulties  to  analyze  such  amount  of information. In this context, we propose to undertake a systematic monitoring of a coastal Mediterranean fish assemblage in order to enforce biological objectives and associated technological implementations.

Biological objectives are:  1) Explore multispecies temporal variability, as a product of activity rhythms and environmental forcing; 2) Analyze prey- predator interactions.

Specific technological implementations will be: 1) Integrate another video camera (AXIS P1346) deployed at 800 m distance from the OBSEA platform into a monitoring network, enforcing temporally coordinated image acquisition; 2) Develop automated video imaging procedure to classify and count fishes in different habitat context (one per video camera). Part of the proponent group (ENEA-CNR) is involved in the future EMSO node  (European  Multidisciplinary  Seafloor  Observations: www.emso.org)  of  the Eastern Ligurian Sea (ELIOS; 500 m depth) and the video-expansion of already exiting NEMO SN-1 branch (Sicily, 2300 m depth; CREEP-2 Project: Univ. London-UCL), which are planned to be deployed by the end of 2015. Since these deployments are enforced with ICM-CSIC members and SARTI-UPC personnel is expanding the OBSEA, this proposal may constitute the first benchmark for the establishment of data collection and analysis protocols for future studies to be carried out at greater depths within the framework of EMSO.

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Project title and acronym  

Electrochemical Corrosion  Measurements in Deep  Seas    (ELCOMEDES)

Host  facility    

OBSEA

Modality  of    Access    

MoA2 – Partially remote (the presence of  the user  is required at some stage, e.g.  for installing and uninstalling an instrument.

Description

There is a general agreement  that  deep sea corrosion studies are urgently required for a safe technology development. Recent  incidents in Offshore  platforms and wells revealed the lack of knowledge  about long term materials behaviour in this aggressive environment.  Although corrosion rates for most alloys    can be are four times less than surface corrosion rates in the open sea, a failure in service can be catastrophic. Therefore, there is a need to monitor the corrosion rate. The project here proposed will try to develop a method for in situ test data on the performance of metallic materials in deep seas. For that, it is   necessary to start the trials inside a controlled marine observatory which will make possible to measure the corrosion rate at higher in the future at considerable depths. This is the general frame under which the Electrochemical Corrosion Measurements in Deep Seas  (ELCOMEDES)  proposal will be carried out.

The team is composed by two research groups:

LESIM  is in charge of the electronics design of the equipment to be deployed.

CENIM has the knowledge about the corrosion processes, evaluations methods and materials to be tested.

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Project title and acronym

Underwater Acoustic Modem with Time Synchronization Capability Test at Obsea platform – UAMSync

Host facility

OBSEA

Modality of Access

MoA2 – Partially remote (the presence of the user is required at some stage, e.g. for installing and uninstalling an instrument)

Description

Synchronization in underwater communications systems is still now a challenge. Time synchronization is a field in continuous development due to the interest of both industry and academia of sharing a common base time between instruments for developing collaborative tasks.

Nowadays, wireless networks have drawn increasing attention due to the ease of development and low maintenance cost for studying big areas. Analogously to terrestrial networks, there is the necessity to study our oceans, and cover huge areas with sensors for satisfying scientist’s necessities.

The Project team is working on the development of new algorithms for time synchronization for underwater networks. Tests have been done in water tanks and now the team is ready to start testing on real environments.

The project team has developed a prototype of acoustic modem with synchronization capabilities based on a cRIO platform. This compact platform is designed to be able to be deployed in an observatory with Ethernet connection with a real time communication to shore.

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Project title and acronym

SmartBay sensor testing and Validation at OBSEA (SmartSEA)

Host facility

OBSEA

Modality of Access

MoA2 – Partially remote (the presence of the user is required at some stage, e.g. for installing and uninstalling an instrument)

Description

Context

SmartBay Ireland Ltd. is a not for profit SME with responsibility for supporting Marine/ICT Research and Testing. It provides services to both the research and innovation community with specific focus on the preparation and deployment of data and sensors solutions in the sea. It has the engineering and project management capability to provide the physical and cyber resources necessary to deploy and operate the test and demonstration of new Marine and/or ICT solutions and services, across a range of marine related sectors including renewable energy, aquaculture, environment, transport, and marine tourism.

SmartBay Ireland operates the Irish National Test and Demonstration Site, Galway Bay, for testing advanced marine technologies and ¼ scale ocean energy conversion devices in Galway. This involves marine engineering and technical support for industry and research focused marine activities.

A sub-sea cable observatory is currently being manufactured and configured for installation at the Galway Bay’s test-site in Quarter 1 2015. Facilities will include:

–     4.5km of hybrid optic/electrical cable for data and 400v DC, 6 kW of power

–     High speed communications via 4pairs of optical fibers

–     Sub-sea cabled sensor platform (hosting a variety of sensors and equipment which can be tested and demonstrated in near real-time)

The cabled observatory will have a range of sensors and equipment including CTD, ADCP, an acoustic array and a HDTV camera and lights. A sea laboratory will be installed at the site which will test novel marine equipment and components. This platform is expected to be operational by Quarter 2 2015.

Rationale

SmartBay is currently designing and planning the operation procedures for the new Cabled Observatory; this includes a wide range of activities, among them the selection of underwater cables, connectors, equipment, maintenance, data communication and data processing procedures, calibration and quality assurance according to best practices.

To better develop these activities, SmartBay has been establishing contacts with a number of different parties to gather as much experience and best practices as possible. This has enabled SmartBay to, among other things, select a basic initial set of equipment for installation in the observatory; this set includes an ADCP, a CTD, a DO2 sensor and a combined Fluoremeter/Turbidity sensor. These instruments have been re-engineered to accommodate the same connector, cable and pin-out on all of them, enabling easier deployment and maintenance operations.