Opening – Smart Sound Plymouth

Great to be at the official opening of the Smart Sound Plymouth, Connect Control Centre at Oceansgate Limited, this morning with MBTC, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, University of Plymouth, University of Exeter, and The Marine Biological Association.

Smart Sound Plymouth is Britain’s premier proving area for designing, testing and developing cutting edge products and services for the marine sector, and is ideally suited for building and supporting the next generation of advanced marine technologies.

Co-ordinated through the Marine Business Technology Centre, Smart Sound Plymouth is a partnership between five organisations boasting considerable expertise in autonomous systems, environmental sensor technologies, alternative propulsion, advanced manufacturing and cyber security.

Field Trials – Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Thanks to Plymouth Marine Laboratory, in particular to Jani Pewter and Dr James Fishwick, for supporting field trials of our new camera systems. Taking the tech to the roof of PML, the Penlee data observatory and Rame Head.

They are hoping to trial this further on their research vessel The Quest. Stay tuned!

Collaboration with Jan De Nul Group to test automated marine mammal detection during offshore activities

Seiche Ltd is collaborating with Jan De Nul Group to start a two-month pilot project to test the A.I capacity and visual reach of Seiche’s new second-generation HD thermal cameras on board the vessel Adhémar de Saint-Venant, currently working in the Netherlands.

The aim of the collaboration is to re-invent the detection and protection of marine mammals in the dredging and offshore construction business on projects worldwide and is a first step towards the fully automated detection of marine mammals, thereby setting a new standard to increase the level of protection of marine mammals and to reduce safety risks, costs and impact upon the environment.

As a global leader in passive acoustic monitoring technology and marine mitigation, this trial will allow Seiche to collect the necessary data for testing and fine-tuning the A.I. capacity of the automated detection function and the visual distances these cameras can cover.

The project was initiated by four employees of Jan De Nul, as part of their internal innovation challenge and proposed using this innovative technology during marine offshore operations. A team from Jan De Nul and Seiche travelled to Rotterdam to install the detection system on board. The combined visual and thermal cameras, secured to high points on the vessel for an increased visual reach, will be fully tested over the coming two months.

Nicola Harris, Associate Director of Environmental Services at Seiche Ltd commented: “We are really excited to be working with Jan De Nul on the testing phase of our new camera systems – allowing us to really showcase the enhanced capabilities of the new devices. It is really great to see construction companies like Jan De Nul showing an active interest in developing such key tools for protecting the environment.”

Inge Van Tomme, Director of the KPI Department at Jan De Nul Group: “The idea of automated mammal detection originated from an internal JDN Innovation Challenge. We chose this competition entry as the outright winner, out of many other viable ideas. By joining forces with a well experienced technology solution partner as Seiche Ltd., we are convinced that we can re-invent the way of detecting and protecting marine mammals for the whole dredging and offshore construction business on projects worldwide.”

Seiche Ltd works with Ørsted during construction of its Hornsea Two offshore wind farm

As well-respected specialists in the field of marine mammal monitoring and mitigation measures, Seiche Ltd was engaged by Ørsted earlier this year to minimise the impact on marine mammals during construction of its Hornsea Two wind farm, located 89km off the UK’s North East coast. This was a key requirement of the wind farm’s marine licence conditions.

Marine Mammal Observers worked from the installation vessel to ensure that marine mammals were protected during the installation of the Offshore Substation (OSS), Reactive Compensation Station (RCS) (September to October 2020) and the Wind Turbine Generators (WTG’s) (October 2020 – October 2021). To achieve this, Seiche provided an Acoustic Deterrent Device (ADD) and marine mammal observers / ADD operators. Extensive reporting was carried out throughout the project.

Project Manager at Seiche, Jennifer Shearing comments:  “It was exciting working with Ørsted on such an important and well-organised project. Ørsted’s enthusiasm towards protecting the marine environment was a pleasure to see. The project was such a success, it finished ahead of time, and Seiche is thankful to the fantastic marine mammal mitigation team we had in the field. Their commitment and hard work ensured the project ran smoothly. Communications with DEME, the installation contractor, were excellent, resulting in efficient, well organised crew changes.”

Jennifer Brack, Consent Manager for Ørsted’s Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm said: “As experts in their field, Seiche were a pleasure to work with. Their work was well-organised, well-communicated, and fulfilled all our requirements in terms of protecting mammals in the marine environment while construction took place”. 

About Hornsea Two:

Located approximately 89 km off the Yorkshire coast, Hornsea Two is the world’s largest offshore wind farm and will generate up to 1.4GW of clean energy for UK households when fully operational in 2022.  

Image: © Steven Atkinson, Lead Marine Mammal Consultant, 2021

Seiche Ltd Undertakes Underwater Acoustic Field Verification Survey and Marine Mammal Mitigation in Northern Spain for ACSM

Seiche Ltd were selected by ACSM earlier this year to provide pre-survey modelling, underwater acoustic verification for two pieces of equipment (Sparker and SBP) to verify how they would affect marine mammals in the area along with continuous Acoustic and Visual Marine Mammal Mitigation services.

Seiche Ltd is a global leader in passive acoustic monitoring technology and marine mitigation and boasts  significant expertise in the field of maritime environmental monitoring. Their experience of providing environmental support for offshore surveys combined with their monitoring, mitigation and technological development credentials made them the ideal project partner for this work.

ACSM is a global leading provider of subsea services with 20 years of expertise within the offshore energy industry. They deliver a whole range of offshore services, from fleet and personnel management to ROV Inspections and Surveys throughout the life-cycle of a subsea asset: from pre-engineering assessment, through construction and installation, IMR to decommissioning. A key speciality is the provision of subsea services and solutions to the Oil & Gas, submarine cables and renewables markets.

This project represented a full cycle of environmental support for an offshore survey – from the pre-survey modelling done in-house with the team of our acoustic scientists, through acoustic field verification with Seiche bespoke equipment, survey design by our BioScience’s team to full marine mammal mitigation scope with our consultant MMOs and PAM operators and in-house build PAM system designed to acoustically detect various species of resident marine mammals. 

“This was a great project for us. We showcased our extensive range of capabilities including a pre-survey modelling including estimation of the marine mammal impact ranges for the specific equipment used, the in-field measurements to verify this model
model predictions with our bespoke PAM buoy equipment and the full marine mammal mitigation support during the survey with our consultant MMOs and PAM operators and effective PAM system .”

Amanda Hyam, Associate Director Environmental Services

Image Credit: © 2021 OSV Nautilus at sea. Courtesy of ASCM.

Seiche Ltd and Deep Vision Inc. Announce Collaboration to Develop Real-time Camera System for Automated Detection, Geo-location and Quantification of Marine Mammals

Seiche Ltd and Deep Vision Inc. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a collaborative relationship in support of their respective business interests.

Seiche has expertise in the field of maritime environmental monitoring; in particular, Seiche has developed a unique camera system, as implemented in their Mini Dual Camera, that has been specifically designed to aid the observation and monitoring of marine mammals (and other surface, and near surface objects).

Deep Vision has expertise in the field of computer vision and unsupervised machine learning; in particular, Deep Vision has developed a highly advanced, unique, passive EO/IR technology that provides robust, real-time detection and tracking of marine mammals, vessels and other maritime assets on, or near, the surface of the water.

Under this MoU, the two companies will advance collaborative efforts to develop a real-time camera-based system that can automatically detect, geo-locate, and quantify the presence of marine mammals and other maritime assets. The system will be resilient under all weather conditions and operable at both surface level and above, e.g. mast mounted for ships. By leveraging state-of-the-art unsupervised machine learning techniques, the system will be truly autonomous.

Both Seiche and Deep Vision have strongly aligned environmentally focused business goals and feel that this partnership will be mutually beneficial both for their respective organisations and for their key stakeholders.

Mark Burnett, CEO of Seiche Ltd, comments:  “We are excited to be working with Deep Vision and their cutting-edge technologies,  particularly their software capabilities that can rapidly assess changes in the environment and automatically tune detection algorithms to optimise performance.  Our Seiche camera systems are currently providing environmental monitoring to clients around the world and this is an important next step in the provision of this technology to further protect marine life.”

Alan Parslow, CEO, Deep Vision, adds: “We are thrilled to be working with Seiche, one of the most respected and forward-looking environmental monitoring companies on the planet. We are confident that the proposed system, once realised, will become a significant tool in protecting marine life. We are certain that such a tool is crucial for the ultimate survival of the North Atlantic right whale.”  

Image: North Atlantic Right Whale – Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library.

Industry Leader Interview with our Associate Director, Nicola Harris

As we celebrate UK Wind Week 2020, please can you tell us a little about your own experience within the ever-evolving renewables sector?

I’ve been involved with the renewables sector for 13 years now which is almost my entire onshore career – it’s played a big part in my professional development. 

One of the very first projects I managed was the marine mammal mitigation workscope for Thanet Offshore Wind Farm and since then I have been lucky enough to work on a number of the key European Offshore Wind farms – it has been exciting to see these projects grow in terms.  

It has also been exciting to be able to take this experience to new areas of the world and work with developers to apply these lessons to a new set of logistical and regulatory requirements – I’ve been fortunate enough to work in the US, SE Asia and Australia.  

My experience lies in providing marine mammal baseline surveys and noise assessment during planning and consenting and providing marine mammal mitigation and noise verification works during construction which is exciting as we get to be there in the early stages and again when the project becomes a reality in the water. This is also an area that has developed massively as we have learned about the impacts of these developments on marine life and as science and technology has developed with the industry.  

To date, what has been your most interesting renewables project that you have worked on and why?

It’s really hard to pick just one project as each and every project is so different and comes with its own set of challenges and we have learned something new on each and every project. 

Thanet as my first was a massive learning curve as my first renewables project and designing the mitigation strategy in the early days prior to any standard mitigation plans being done prior to this was an exciting phase to be involved in. 

Teesside was also a great project as I got to be involved with a number of monitoring scopes including land noise, ornithology, underwater noise as well as marine mammals. 

As we move further offshore the challenges increase which for me is exciting – I was fortunate enough to work on the baseline survey for marine mammal and birds on Dogger Bank site which ran for about a year and a half and at the time was the largest survey activity of its kind and yielded an enormous data set for the environmental assessment works.  

Over in the US I’ve been managing mitigation scopes for characterisation surveys across the East Coast and it’s been really interesting to apply the lessons we have learned in Europe to a new set of logistics and sensitivities and work with new regulators and stakeholders.

And of course, this year has brought its own set of challenges as COVID hit in the early stages of the construction phase of Triton Knoll which meant adapting, new procedures and a whole host of contingency measures but I am pleased to say thanks to the incredible teamwork from our client, the contractors and team we didn’t have any delay or have to make any compromise to safety or the environment.

In your opinion, which areas within the renewables sector have the most opportunities in terms of growth in the coming years?

I think the whole sector and across all supply chains will see huge opportunities, especially offshore wind which is going to continue to see massive growth.  The offshore renewables sector is playing a pivotal role in combating climate change with governments across the world setting ambitious targets in terms of capacity and economic growth. 

It’s been incredible to be part of a new industry in Europe which still makes up three-quarters of the worlds installed offshore wind however I see this very quickly tipping as many new regions are poised for massive developments in this decade. 

These areas are now benefiting from the lessons learned, established supply chains and knowledge from Europe enabling much faster progress to commissioning.

What advice would you give to individuals who are considering a career within the renewables sector?

Definitely get involved! This is an industry that offers so much career development and diversity in roles and progression, it’s really exciting.  It’s also a really personable industry where novel techniques and developments are really welcomed and supported. 

My biggest advice is build relationships as these are key – I have met and worked with so many incredible people during the past 13 years and have learnt so much from all of them.  People move between developments and projects and I love that people I worked with 10 years ago I get to work with again on a new project.   

And from an environmental perspective, I am really proud to be involved in this green sustainable industry which is playing a huge part in achieving net zero and combating climate change.

AutoNaut USV accompanies The Ocean Cleanup in the Pacific Ocean

An AutoNaut unmanned surface vessel (USV) has been launched alongside the revolutionary system of The Ocean Cleanup, the non-profit organisation deploying advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The Ocean Cleanup System 001, also known as “Wilson”, is undergoing extensive sea trials approximately 350 nautical miles from San Francisco, to test the behaviour of the system. If all goes well, it will relocate to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (GPGP) where it will begin the challenge of removing tonnes of plastic debris. The role of the AutoNaut USV is to conduct long-term monitoring of the surrounding environmental conditions and provide information on “Wilson” itself.

The AutoNaut USV is operating directly alongside The Ocean Cleanup’s at-sea garbage-collection system. The small autonomous craft is overseen remotely by an operator at sea and a small team based on the south coast of England. Cameras on the AutoNaut’s mast and hull provide a live-feed view of “Wilson” both from above and below the sea surface. Onboard sensors provide a scientific understanding of the environment by measuring the sea surface waves, oceanic currents, water quality and weather conditions.

A send-off from San Francisco was seen live by viewers around the world who watched the Maersk Launcher tow The Ocean Cleanup “Wilson”, with AutoNaut on deck, under the Golden Gate Bridge. The next stage after this first two-week trial is to re-locate further offshore to the GPGP where the aim of the project is to remove 50% of ocean plastics every 5 years.

“We are thrilled to be playing a role in Boyan Slat’s vision” said Phil Johnston, BD at AutoNaut, “The AutoNaut uses only wave-power for propulsion and solar energy for sensors – so these are two very elegant, renewably-powered systems working together for an environmental cause.”



The Ocean Cleanup – countdown to launch!

On September 8, The Ocean Cleanup will launch the world’s first ocean cleanup system from its assembly yard in Alameda, through the San Francisco Bay, toward the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To celebrate this historic moment, you can watch the deployment live. The livestream will be available, starting at noon PDT/3 pm EDT/9 pm CEST. CLICK HERE.