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Project OAEx

CTD sampling during OAEx'10

Ocean Acoustic Exploration (OAEx - 230855)

OAEx is an exchange project funded under the EU FP7 Marie-Curie, IRSES initiative that aims at reinforcing links, exchanging experiences and methodologies between european and non-european partners in the field of ocean exploration using acoustics. One of the focus of the project is the region of Cabo Frio, on the Brazilian coast, approximately 200 km to the east of Rio de Janeiro. This project is funded with 187.2 kEuro for 3 years (later extended for extra 6 months).
Starting date: February 1st, 2009.
End date: July 31st, 2012.
Partnership: CINTAL - Centro de Investigação Tecnológica do Algarve (beneficiary), ULB - Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), COPPE - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brasil), IEAPM - Instituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo Moreira (Brasil) and C-MARS Canadian Marine Acoustic Remote Sensing Facility (UVic, Canada).
People involved: members of all institutions.


The OAEx joint research programme aims at developing synergies and reinforcing collaboration between the EU, Brazil and Canada in the field of ocean acoustic monitoring and marine technologies. In this context the OAEx programme will contribute towards a global ocean through the exchange of experience on the usage of ocean acoustics for geophysical exploration, ocean circulation monitoring and underwater acoustic communications as well as in the framework of global change issues. The OAEx programme allows the transfer of knowledge and information between partners in order to improve and complement their individual expertises to be applied in ongoing and prospective projects. Specifically, European and Canadian groups have developed techniques of ocean environmental monitoring by acoustic remote sensing and underwater acoustic communications that could be integrated and applied to monitor the strategic and challenging site of Cabo Frio in Brazil which has been studied for a long time by the Brazilian partners using conventional oceanographic tools. Moreover, the Canadian partner has privileged access to the NEPTUNE CANADA observatory, at the moment the unique cabled long term multidisciplinary ocean observation laboratory in operation. Since there are plans for creating such complex and expensive infrastructures by other major world players, and in particular EU (ESONET network), the OAEx partners will profit from exchanging experiences to optimize the implementation of current and future laboratories. To achieve the proposed goals, the main events overseen in OAEx are interdisciplinary workshops where both scientific and technological aspects will be discussed also on the basis of simulation and experimental results obtained through researcher exchange and collaboration during the time frame of OAEx. The exchange will encompass both scientific and technical personnel with experience at sea as well as advanced methodologies for data analysis.


The objectives of the OAEx exchange project can be summarized as follows:
  • to enhance collaboration and fill the scientific and technological gap to specifically define methodologies, technologies and procedures for the implementation of underwater acoustic environmental monitoring and communication networks to be integrated in the surveillance and monitoring of critical at sea infrastructures.
  • Investigation of the performance characteristics required for acoustic environmental monitoring (spatial coverage, estimation and prediction accuracy, response time, transmission bandwidth, achievable bit rate, resilience/delay time, maximum range, etc) and data transmission over underwater acoustic channels as a function of transmission frequency, signal modulation, environmental properties (including sound speed as a function of space and time, bathymetry, reverberation, ambient noise, etc and channel geometry source/receivers depth and range).
  • Definition of the requirements and suggestion of methodologies for the implementation of a generic monitoring network in Cabo Frio (Brazil). To develop a suitable environmental model of Cabo Frio and carry out a simulation study using pre-existing archival data provided by local partner IEAPM and computational tools and expertise provided by the other partners. The Cabo Frio area is known to be prone to great variability as exposed to an upwelling northeastern wind driven regime during most of the year (see detailed description of the area in the proposal).
  • Experience exchange regarding the NEPTUNE network requirements, methodologies and specific algorithms for integration, data transmission and overall network infrastructure. It is of paramount interest for EU to gain experience on existing network issues, characteristics and additional constraints and on the underwater network requirements that must be dealt with at design level.
  • Experiments on Cabo Frio site for geo acoustic characterization of the sub seafloor, and testing and performance tuning of a prototype system for environmental monitoring. The system will be deployed in the minimum configuration required for in-situ validation of the methods and algorithms.

last update: 16-Apr-2012