Case study: Spotting a whale using DAS monitoring 

 The construction and operation of a wind farm can cause negative impact on surrounding marine life due to the noise impact a wind farm can have. To protect the surrounding marine life, it is foremost necessary to be able to know what and if sea mammals are present. 

Marlinks took up the challenge to detect whales surrounding submerged subsea fiber cable using nothing but a DAS device. Advanced algorithms could classify the recorded sound into porpoise echolocation clicks, whale song and other marine noises, and compute the location of the mammal. It is exciting to know that once operational, the system would allow to alert the crew when the mammal is getting too close to the construction site, so that necessary actions can be taken. 

“The technology is relatively new,” says Roel Vanthillo, CEO of Marlinks, “But we have already used this very technology to detect water leaks in pipes with significant success.”

The short video below shows a visualisation of the sound waves of a whale. 

 

 

Benefits of DAS monitoring

Cable strain during installation

 Monitor cable strain and therefore construction faults at an early stage as to limit maintenance costs in a later phase.

 

 

CPS abrasion

DAS monitoring allows to detect the scraping sound from a destabilised Cable Protection System (CPS), flagging to the end user of our software when CPS abrasion is happening.

 

Dynamic cable movements

Picking up exposed cables using DAS monitoring

Environmental monitoring

Getting alerted of whale songs, vessel movements, earthquakes and soil lidification

Scour pit forming

Detect subsea cables which get partly unburied because of scour pit forming. 

 

Partial discharge

When the insulation of subsea cables starts degrading, or when at risk zones such as connection points, partial discharge is a known issue. DAS monitoring allows to pick up the voids and cracks sounds which happen during partial discharge issues.

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