Research & Innovation Services

University Awarded Largest Ever KTP with Seiche

Seiche LogoThe University of Bath has secured its third Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Seiche Measurements Ltd, a company with international expertise in underwater sound measurement for the detection of marine mammals.

The University will be working with Seiche, who wish to further develop their ability to accurately detect all marine mammals within a given range, as opposed to relying solely on surface sightings and vocalisations.

This will provide customers, predominantly in the oil, gas and off shore renewable energy sectors, with improved accuracy for marine mammal exclusion zones, helping to comply with increasing monitoring legislation.

This three year, two Postdoctorate Associate programme will help deliver an innovative software solution for most depths and ranges and, using new inversion techniques to analyse 4D movements, will enable full detection within larger volumes of water.

The two lead academics are Dr Manuch Soleimani and Dr Philippe Blondel, both members of the Centre for Space, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Bath. Dr Blondel, Department of Physics, is an expert in underwater acoustics; he will assess the best way to use the stray energy from seismic airguns to detect marine mammal invisible from the sea surface. Dr Soleimani, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, is an expert in medical and industrial tomographic imaging; he will provide the latest advances in monitoring techniques, such as the technique for the contraction of marine mammal lungs in response to noise.

Dr Philippe Blondel, says: “Seismic airguns provide a lot of energy, most of it directed towards the seafloor and the layers below. Some of this energy still strays out in other directions, and this ambitious project will make the most of it, to detect marine mammals and protect them better.”

Dr Manuch Soleimani says: “This is a very exciting project potentially allowing us to see the mammals and their organs in ways that they have never been seen before. It is also great to see that the fundamental research we do in university has an impact in real life”.

Roy Wyatt, Seiche Managing Director, says: “This is a key piece of technology. We can visually detect animals on the surface of the ocean and using hydrophones when they vocalise below the surface. If they are silent in the depths of the ocean they are likely to be undetected. Using the energy of the seismic source to detect the animals is complex but opens up a new area of potential for protecting the animals from anthropogenic noise”.

Using the most recent advancements in underwater acoustics and tomographic imaging, the University of Bath will assist Seiche in providing an innovative approach for significant competitive advantage in mammal monitoring for the offshore energy market.

The KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and is the highest value KTP award in the University’s KTP history.

For further information on KTPs please contact:
Clive Bailey
Email: C.Bailey@bath.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 5201