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Researching stressor/receptor interactions
A key area of environmental monitoring research needed to quantify potential effects of marine energy systems involves understanding how aquatic animals and ecosystems interact with novel marine energy devices. To address this need, Triton is researching stressor/receptor interactions—how receptors, such as marine mammals, fish, or habitats, respond to potential stressors or parts of a marine energy device and/or system that may stress or harm the marine environment. Triton’s newest suite of projects will help build knowledge around animal behavior in the presence of dynamic marine energy technologies and help inform mitigation solutions for protecting the ocean’s vulnerable residents.
Triton’s stressor/receptor interaction research projects include:
- Acoustic Particle Motion and Flow Noise Mitigation
- Anthropogenic Light in the Marine Environment
- Marine Wildlife Detection and Tracking
- The Probability of Encounter Model (PoEM)
Environmental monitoring technology development
The Environmental Monitoring Technology Development (EMTD) task aims to decrease uncertainty and cost related to animal interaction studies, particularly for stressors like collision risk. Additionally, the effort aims to provide technology solutions to address permitting requirements and mitigate collision risk.
One of the goals of this task is to improve data collection and decrease the time and money required to process large datasets associated with underwater video and acoustic cameras and other sensors used to study collision risk around underwater turbines. Collision risk is a challenging environmental stressor to study and quantify. Empirical data are needed to inform tools such as numerical models used to elucidate fish behavior and potential for collision. Models will, in turn, help regulators evaluate requirements that may be necessary to permit the deployment of marine energy devices. The EMTD Collision Risk Data Collection and Data Processing research focuses on improving data collection methods and automating underwater video and acoustic camera analyses to improve algorithms required for effective observations of fish/turbine interactions and advance the understanding of potential risk.
Another way to address regulatory concerns around animal interactions with devices is to develop practical strategies to reduce the risk of collision. Triton’s Integrated Collision Detection and Mitigation research aims to develop sensors in underwater turbines to help mitigate risk of collision. Triton researchers are conducting flume experiments with model marine animals to inform the design of a tangible collision mitigation solution that uses strain gauge technologies that can be integrated within a tidal turbine, providing a cost-effective solution to collision risk concerns.
Learn more about these projects: