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Design and Application of a Passive Acoustic Monitoring System in the Spanish Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
* 1 , 2 , 3 , 3 , 1
1  ITEAM - Universitat Politècnica de València
2  Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
3  IGIC - Universitat Politècnica de València


A passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) device named SAMARUC has been developed to acquire
underwater sounds following the specifications of the Monitoring Guidance for Underwater Noise in European Seas: Monitoring Guidance Specifications. Based on a Texas Instruments processor, an ultra-low power ADC was programmed to work at a sampling rate of 192 kHz and adhoc electronics were designed allowing the processor’s two microSD buses to be used, thereby increasing the storage capacity. Many other software and hardware enhancements were implemented, such as the new low latency file system, the construction of NITUFF anodized aluminium housing and ringed buoys. With the resulting application, data obtained by the SAMARUC at El Gorguel (Cartagena, Spain) in 2018 were compared to a theoretical underwater noise map created using AIS data. This was done following the Descriptor D11.2 by means of the ambient noise level indicators at two one-third-octave frequency bands (63 Hz and 125 Hz), mainly related to marine traffic and noise pollution. The conjunction between the acquisition of underwater acoustic data and the development of a numerical propagation model was found to be highly recommendable to estimate the ambient continuous noise level when validating the acquired data as well as when correcting the prediction provided by the model.

Keywords: Underwater acoustics; Numerical methods; Passive acoustic monitoring