At PNNL’s Bio-Acoustics and Flow Laboratory, scientists explore ways to integrate environmental protection for fish passage and survival in hydropower operations. The Bio-Acoustics and Flow Laboratory addresses a range of engineering and ecological issues, with an emphasis on environmental monitoring and risk assessment for conventional hydropower, wind, marine, and hydrokinetic renewable energy systems.
The laboratory includes an applied acoustics team consisting of chemists, battery engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, materials scientists, mathematicians, and fish biologists. This multi-disciplinary team allows PNNL to address acoustic technology problems across the range from basic material properties of acoustic system elements, instrumentation, and applications, to propagation modeling.
The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation has accredited the Bio-Acoustics and Flow Laboratory. This certification permits PNNL to perform primary certified testing on instruments made by others and also perform certified testing on instruments that PNNL builds. The laboratory supports thorough system calibration checks and troubleshooting for the many active and passive acoustic instruments used for projects conducted by PNNL.
Laboratory staffers have extensive experience in flow measurements both in the laboratory and field environments. Projects include the development of acoustic microtransmitters and receivers for aquatic animals, , radio-frequency transmitter for small bats and birds, sensor fish to support advanced hydropower development, and the development of the Marine Animal Alert System.