Research

Whilst studying with the Advanced Signal Processing Research Group at Loughborough University I published a pair of conference papers. My area of research was the monitoring of underwater noise and the modelling of how this noise affects marine animals. I developed new data processing and impact assessment methodologies to reduce the costs associated with working in this field. My research wass sponsored by EPSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

For a copy of any publications or further details about my work, please contact me.

Detection and impact assessment of impulsive underwater noise

Barker, P. and Lepper, P. (2013). "Detection and impact assessment of impulsive underwater noise", Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics, Vol. 35. Pt. 1 2013, pp 298-305

Orally presented at conference. Powerpoint slides of presentation and PDF of written paper available on request.

Abstract

In response to research highlighting the adverse effects that anthropogenic underwater noise may be having on the marine environment, it is desirable to implement monitoring and impact assessment strategies to quantify noise levels. High amplitude impulsive sounds such as those produced by marine piling activities and seismic surveys are of particular concern. Properties of impulsive noise such as the peak sound pressure, initial onset rise time (attack time) and the energy delivered by each impulse are discussed along with methods of calculating these parameters. Preliminary results of an investigation into methods for the extraction of impulses from background noise are also presented as a necessary step in the calculation of the listed parameters. The focus in both impulse detection and calculation of parameters is on methods which may be carried out automatically and in real time. Conclusions are drawn and future work is suggested.

Development of a Versatile Platform for Long-Term Underwater Acoustic Monitoring

Barker, P. and Lepper, P. (2012). "Development of a Versatile Platform for Long-Term Underwater Acoustic Monitoring", Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Underwater Acoustics (Edinburgh, UK), pp. 627-633.

Orally presented at conference. Powerpoint slides of presentation and PDF of written paper available on request.

Abstract

The requirement for acoustic monitoring of marine environments has increased in recent years due to the desire of both scientists and governments to understand how anthropogenic noise affects marine fauna. The available technology is also improving constantly, which allows new approaches and methods to be used in tackling the above requirement. This modern technology allows a platform to be developed which is capable of not only recording underwater acoustic signals but also processing them in real-time on board a device which is self-contained, battery powered and deployable to the sea floor. This opens up many possibilities, such as using data compression to enable high bandwidth signals (400kSamples/s) to be transmitted over narrow radio-frequency channels. It also allows automated signal analysis to be performed and results (from third-octave noise levels to an impact estimation) to be presented in a timely fashion to decision makers - allowing mitigation actions to be taken. As technological progress continues, ever more complex problems will be tackled by such devices without the need for on-shore computer processing. Results will be presented for the development of platform technologies to allow real-time broadband processing of impact relevant data and subsequent storage and communication.