Oceans new ISO Standard new monitoring technology and how Standards are critical for safety at sea


New ISO Standard to help measure noisy seas

Monitoring technology comes to New Zealand

Standards critical for safety at sea

New ISO Standard to help measure noisy seas

Noise generated by human use of the oceans and other waterways can be harmful to the marine environment. To help quantify this noise, and establish appropriate Standards for the generation, transmission, and reception of underwater sound, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has formed a new subcommittee (SC), SC 3, within technical committee (TC) 43, Acoustics, devoted to underwater acoustics.

The subcommittee has already developed its first Standard, publicly available specification (PAS) ISO/PAS 17208-1:2012 Acoustics – Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater sound from ships – Part 1: General requirements for measurements in deep water. The document can be used to demonstrate compliance with contract requirements, enable periodic signature assessments, and in research and development. Intended users include government agencies, research vessel operators, and commercial vessel owners operating in acoustically sensitive waters. Read more.

Order ISO/PAS 17208-1:2012 from www.standards.co.nz or call 0800 782 632 during business hours, or email enquiries@standards.co.nz.

Monitoring technology comes to New Zealand

An Environmental Sample Processor could help monitor and manage New Zealand's marine environment.

This month, scientists from New Zealand and the United States are trialling a robotic analytical laboratory in Tasman Bay. The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) will provide site collection and analysis of water samples in the bay and communicate results back to the Cawthron Institute in Nelson and the US-based Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Developed by MBARI, ESPs have previously been deployed at depths of 1600 metres below sea level in coastal waters around the United States. This is the first time the technology has been deployed in the Southern Hemisphere. Read more.

Standards critical for safety at sea

There has been a lot of media activity recently to remind us that 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage, which ended when the ship sank on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage and she carried 2223 people.

We have come a long way since this maritime tragedy 100 years ago. Although crews and passengers are safer at sea than ever before because of technological progress, their swift rescue in case of accident is still paramount. This means access to immediate, reliable, and accurate communication and location information and equipment, a relatively recent possibility thanks to the advent of satellite technology. The International Electrotechnical Commission prepares Standards for all aspects of the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS). The GMDSS allows for much more effective and rapid search and rescue interventions at sea.

The GMDSS is an international integrated communications system that uses safety systems based on different communications technologies. It performs many functions including signalling distress and coordinating search and rescue operations. It would have ensured that many, many more lives would have been saved from the Titanic.

Read more about Standards and safety at sea in Touchstone.

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Jayne McCullum
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