Tag Archives: The Oceans

Smart Oceans: Cell Towers On The Ocean Floor?

By: CellPhoneTaskForce

In 2018, on land and in space, preparations to deploy millions of antennas were very publicly being made and advertised, for “5G,” “Smart Cities,” and the “Internet of Things.” At the same time, and without any publicity, governments, research laboratories, and commercial and military interests were collaborating on plans to create “Smart Oceans” and the “Internet of Underwater Things” (IoUT). They did not consult the fishes, whales, dolphins, octopuses, and other inhabitants of those depths.

In the United States, the National Science Foundation-funded what it called the SEANet Project. The goal was to enable broadband wireless communication from any point on or in the oceans to anywhere else on the planet or in space. The Internet of Underwater Things is being designed to enable all the same communication capabilities that are being provided on land, including “real-time video streaming from underwater.”

In the last three years, a flood of papers has been published by scientists and engineers in the U.S., China, Pakistan, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, Australia, Greece,

Italy, France, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. In 2020, the IEEE Internet of Things Journal published a Special Issue on Internet of Things for Smart Ocean. In 2019, the journal Sensors published a Special Issue on Smart Ocean: Emerging Research Advances, Prospects and Challenges, and the same journal is now publishing another Special Issue on Internet of Underwater Things.

Some of the activities that supposedly “need” this technology in the oceans are:

  • climate change monitoring
  • pollution control and tracking
  • disaster prevention including tsunami warning systems
  • ocean exploration
  • fishing and aquaculture
  • coral reef harvesting
  • tectonic plate monitoring
  • navigation
  • global oceanic trade
  • oil and gas exploration and production
  • military communication and surveillance

The infrastructure that is beginning to be deployed, throughout the oceans, includes:

  • sensors and antennas (“nodes”) on the ocean floor
  • nodes at different depths
  • surface nodes
  • relay antennas at different depths to transmit data vertically from the ocean floor to the ocean surface, and horizontally between nodes
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)
  • Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs)
  • underwater robots
  • wireless surface buoys
  • smart boats and ships
  • smart submarines
  • smart shores

Communication being more difficult to accomplish underwater than through the air, and more subject to interference, several different types of communication media are being used in the oceans to send data at different speeds and over different distances. Acoustic waves, radio waves, lasers, LED light, and magnetic induction are

all being used to flood the oceans with data. An underwater GPS system is being developed. Most of these media work only for short- to medium-range communication. Long-range communication relies on acoustic waves, and is similar to the technology used in ocean sonar.

These technologies are already being marketed commercially and installed in the world’s oceans today. At the 2022 Oceanology International conference, which will be held in London from March 15 to 17, dozens of these companies will be exhibiting their products.

WaterLinked sells underwater sensor technology through distributors around the world for use in aquaculture, and in underwater navigation. “Our Wireless Sense™ technology enables reliable wireless communication and innovative subsea sensor solutions,” says their website.

EvoLogics sells underwater acoustic modems, both mid-range and long-range, that “provide full-duplex digital communication.”

SonarDyne International sells underwater acoustic modems to the oil and gas industry and to governments and navies.

Voyis sells short- and long-range underwater laser scanners.

GeoSpectrum sells “integrated, end-to-end acoustic systems” for oil and gas exploration and for military purposes.

Dynautics sells autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Seaber sells “off-the-shelf micro-AUVs.”

Hydromea markets “the first ever tether-less underwater drone.”

Mediterraneo Señales Maritimas sells “data buoys that integrate sensors through our datalogger so the data can be transmitted to a remote station and displayed on our software.”

3D at Depth, Inc. “provides advanced subsea LIDAR laser systems.”

Teledyne Marine sells Autonomous Underwater Gliders, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (“unmanned robot submarines”) and “laser systems for both shallow and deep-sea submerged diving.”

“Underwater robots swarm the ocean,” says a page on the website of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The Institute has developed an acoustic-based navigation system that is enabling large numbers of underwater robots to work together. “Instead of using just a single, larger and more expensive underwater robot to cover an area of the ocean, we want to have hundreds or even thousands of smaller, lower-cost robots that can all work in sync,” says their webpage.

Ocean protection organizations have long been campaigning against noise pollution in the oceans, but they are only beginning to be aware of this new type of assault, which has the potential to dwarf all previous noise assaults in its scope and magnitude. For example, one of the campaigns of the environmental organization, Sea Shepherd, is “Silencing the Deafening Roar of Ocean Noise Pollution.” They write:

“In 1953, Jacques Cousteau published a classic memoir on his early days of underwater exploration. He titled this book The Silent World. Today, human activities make a mockery of that title. Over the past several decades, marine noise pollution has grown at an exponential rate. Noise from vessel traffic is doubling every decade. Pile-driving, dredging, sonar, and seismic exploration for oil and gas add to the cacophony. For marine wildlife, and especially for acoustically-sensitive cetaceans, this anthropogenic racket poses a grave and growing threat. Ocean noise pollution causes severe stress, behavioral changes, masking (i.e., difficulty perceiving important natural sounds), strandings, and noise-induced loss of hearing sensitivity.”

To this mix is now being added the Internet of Underwater Things, which is beginning to flood the oceans with sound in order to connect them to the Internet. And this sound will be pulse-modulated with the same harmful frequencies as radio waves in order to carry the same data. And to communicate over large distances, some of the underwater acoustic modems that are being marketed are capable of producing sound as loud as 202 decibels. That is equivalent to 139 decibels in air. It is as loud as a jet engine at a distance of 100 feet, and is above the threshold for pain in humans. These modems blast modulated sound at frequencies ranging from 7 kHz to 170 kHz, encompassing almost the entire hearing range of dolphins, which use sound for hunting and navigating.

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Sourced from Technocracy News & Trends

New Solution to Ridding Oceans of Microplastics Uses Acoustic Waves

Good News Network
December 1, 2021

Filtering microplastics from polluted water using acoustic waves is the new solution to cleaning up our oceans, according to new research.

Microplastics are released into the environment as cosmetics, clothing, industrial processes, and plastic products like packaging, break down naturally.

The plastic pollutants then make their way into rivers and oceans, endangering marine life.

Filtering and removing these particles from water is a difficult and timely task, but using acoustic waves may provide a solution to this impenetrable task.

Dr Dhany Arifianto from the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Surabaya, Indonesia, created a filtration prototype using acoustic waves and presented his method and its data at the Meeting of the 181st Acoustical Society of America in Seattle, designed to showcase the latest research about the science of sound.

Dr Arifianto and his team used two speakers to create the acoustic waves and the force produced was able to separate the microplastics from the water by creating pressure on a tube of inflowing water.

MORE: 20,000 Pounds of Trash Removed From Pacific Garbage Patch: ‘Holy mother of god. It worked!’

As the tube split into three channels, the microplastic particles are pressed towards the center as the clean water flows towards the two outer channels on either side.

The prototyped device cleaned a staggering 150 liters of polluted water per hour and was tested filtering three different microplastics.

Each plastic was filtered with different efficiency, but all were above 56 percent efficient in pure water and a further 59 percent efficient in seawater.

The team measured different variables against their efficiency and found that acoustic frequency, speaker-to-pipe distance, and water density all affected the amount of force generated.

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The group is now studying how acoustic waves may impact marine life if the wave frequency is in the audible range.

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THE UNTAPPED POWER OF SEAWEED: A POTENTIAL FOOD AND FUEL OF THE FUTURE

By Anthony McLennan
August 30th, 2020

From cosmetics and medicines to toothpaste, packaging, food, and fuel, seaweed seemingly offers a solution for a vast array of items.

A fast-growing algae, seaweed uses energy from sunlight while absorbing nutrients and carbon dioxide from the seawater. Scientists also believe it could help fight global warming.

Seaweed production has according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization grown exponentially this century, with volume doubling between 2005 and 2015. More than 30 million tons are being processed annually and the market is now worth over $6bn.

Seaweed is most often used in human food. However, cosmetics, medicines, toothpaste, and pet food often contain hydrocolloids derived from the plant, due to its gel-like nature.

Other seaweed products are being worked on, including biodegradable packaging, water capsules, drinking straws, textile and plastic alternatives.

Ocean Rainforest from the Faroe Islands is one of several seaweed companies that have sprung up in Europe in recent times. However, the vast majority of commercial harvesting happens in Asia.

The labor-intensive process of harvesting is one reason it has been slow to catch on in Europe and America. Mechanization and up-scaling are still needed for the west to make it a viable business.

Farming systems are also difficult to set up and there is usually no set formula; conditions for farming tend to be unique to the local area.

IS SEAWEED FARMING THE FUTURE?

However, progress is certainly being made.

Ocean Rainforest, who harvest their crop naturally in the ocean, recently received funding from the US Department of Energy. They want the company to build a similar system in California – with the potential to produce biofuel.

Other companies are growing seaweed in on-shore ponds and tanks. For one thing, this enables the producers to more easily regulate the climate and conditions.

One example of an inland farm is AlgaPlus in Portugal. Canada and South Africa also have inland farms.

There is still some way to go before seaweed becomes a viable option for producing fuel and some of the other uses being researched. But then again, technologies such as solar and wind energy were also once too costly to be realistic solutions.

Unanimous Senate Votes to Protect Sea Turtles and Dolphins from Driftnets in the Last Spot That Allows Them

Staff Writer
Jul 25, 2020

Sea turtles, whales, and dolphins may soon be free of the deadly possibility that they will get entangled in the huge driftnets floating off the coast of California.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bipartisan bill to phase out the use of the harmful mesh gillnets in federal waters there—the only place the nets are still used in the United States.

The mesh driftnets, which are more than a mile long, are left in the ocean overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. Other marine species including whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, fish, and sharks can also become entangled in the large mesh nets, injuring or killing them.

Turtle Island Restoration Network has led a coalition of concerned citizens and partner organizations for nearly 20 years, working to stop the devastating impact of this driftnet fishery on sea turtles and other ocean animals—with much success.

In 2018, California passed a four-year phase out of large mesh drift gillnets in state waters, but the new law, The Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, would extend similar protections to federal waters within five years and authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help the commercial fishing industry transition to more sustainable gear types.

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“This legislation will ensure no more whales or dolphins fall victim,” said Annalisa Batanides Tuel, policy and advocacy manager for Turtle Island Restoration Network. “We are encouraged that the United States is taking steps to address harmful fishing methods in the ocean and off our coasts.”

small gillnet – USFWS

The use of large mesh driftnets by a single fishery in California is responsible for 90 percent of the dolphins and porpoises killed along the West Coast and Alaska. At least six endangered, threatened, or protected species are harmed by driftnets off the California coast.

The bill, S. 906, was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

“We are now one step closer to removing these nets from our waters,” Senator Feinstein said. “There is no reason to allow the carnage of large mesh drift gillnets when there are better, more sustainable methods to catch swordfish. We can preserve the economically important swordfishing industry while protecting the ocean and its wildlife.”

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Large mesh drift gillnets are already banned in the U.S. territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. However, they remain legal in federal waters off the coast of California. The United States is also a member of international agreements that ban large-scale driftnets in international waters.

The bill would phase out the use of the nets and help the industry transition to more sustainable methods like deep-set buoy gear that uses a hook-and-buoy system. Deep-set buoy gear attracts swordfish with bait and alerts fishermen immediately when a bite is detected. Testing has shown that 94 percent of animals caught with deep-set buoys are swordfish, resulting in a vastly smaller incidental catch than drift gillnets.

To become law, the bill must pass also the House of Representatives. In May, 2019, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held hearings on the bill.

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