The Department of Electronics at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) will collaborate with Japan’s Sony Group to develop an intelligent sensor network for mitigating the effect of noise pollution on the marine habitat.
The joint venture is part of the company’s Sensing Solution University Collaboration (SSUC) programme to develop an intelligent sensor node network deployed on the sea floor or semi-buoyant platforms across large regions of the ocean, which can monitor marine habitats.
“We had come first in the national-level competition organised by Sony that required researchers to enhance the utility of the company’s products through innovative ideas,” said Supriya M.H, Professor and Head of the Department of Electronics.
The project is to develop the sensor network to help fill the gap in the global efforts to collect, monitor and analyse acoustic noise pollution in the ocean and understand its threat on marine habitats. The system helps intelligently monitor the acoustic landscape of the ocean with near zero human intervention.
Prof. Supriya said that there is a need to monitor the acoustic ambience of the ocean for mitigating the effect of noise pollution on the marine habitat. Marine mammals have developed their hearing for many reasons such as navigation, communication, and foraging. Noise trauma also damages the hearing and long exposure can often cause permanent dumbness. Mammals often avoid noisy areas, which can be a problem if these locations are important feeding or breeding grounds, she said.
It is noticed that the ambient background noise interferes with the sense of hearing of marine mammals, making it harder for them to hunt, navigate and communicate, eventually leading to an extinction, according to the researchers.