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SEATTLE, WA, September 04, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Noise Control Engineering, LLC (NCE), a Massachusetts-based acoustical engineering consulting firm, recently completed an underwater radiated noise study for Washington State Ferries (WSF). The study included measurement of nine vessels representing all seven operating classes of WSF vessels, quantifying noise, potential impacts to orcas and other marine life, and methods of reducing noise.
"This work provides the information that WSF needs to take the next steps towards operational and engineered mitigation measures to reduce the impact of underwater radiated noise from our vessels on marine life, particularly the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale," said Kevin Bartoy, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability Program Manager, Washington State Ferries.
NCE utilized their Buoy Acoustic Measurement System (BAMS) to perform vessel noise measurements in general accordance with ANSI S12.64 while allowing the vessels to maintain their normal operating schedule. Simultaneously, vessel operational and environmental data was collected allowing for assessments of noise at varying propeller RPMs, operating powers, and speeds. This information was compiled into a database which was used to calculate 'source levels' and identify impacts to marine life using NMFS guidelines. The measurement data was also used to identify causes of noise ranging from propeller cavitation to specific machinery items. NCE's decades of experience in quiet ship design was used to identify potential methods of reducing underwater noise.
"This was a great project for NCE. The opportunity to measure and assess noise across an entire fleet was fantastic, and could not be done without the direct engagement of WSF personnel. We are grateful to have been part of this effort," said Jesse Spence, President of NCE.
About NCE: Noise Control Engineering, LLC is a premier acoustical engineering consulting firm that specializes in noise and vibration design, measurement, and control for marine, industrial, and commercial applications. NCE is a subsidiary of Glosten, a full-service naval architecture and marine engineering firm.
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