SMO is taking data in real time since 23 March 2013
Listening to the sound of the sea is an intense emotion. However the sound that we can hear from shore or aboard a boat, are just a little fraction of the thousands of “voices” of the sea. Together with natural sounds, man-made sounds since about a century are an important part of the sound of the sea. Acoustic noise monitoring and the study of its variations as a function of time is a useful research tool to study marine environment and evaluate the “health of seas”.
Since about ten years, scientists from three Italian Institues INFN, INGV, CIBRA, and University “Sapienza” of Roma, carry out acoustic monitoring of sea with a new methodology: the installation of submarine microphones (hydrophones) antenna in deep sea, more than 2000 m water depth, off Eastern Sicilian Coast. These antennas detect acoustic signals that, using optical fiber cables, are continuously transmitted to shore where they are recorded and analysed. This experimental technique, developed by INFN to permit identification of subatomic particle (neutrinos) of astrophysical origin, has important follow-up in biology and geophysics.
The SMO Collaboration, formed by INFN, University Sapienza of Rome, University Roma 3, INGV, and CIBRA has built and is operating a new acoustic antenna deployed at 3500 m water depth, off Capo Passero (South East Sicily) to study, with sensitive acoustic devices, deep sea sounds.
The antenna is active from March 24 2013 and it is installed onboard the NEMO-KM3NeT tower. SMO transmits in real time, data acquired from 14 submarine microphones (hydrophones).
In the same time the SMO Collaboration performs data acquisition and analysis of data coming from the acoustic station SN1-OnDE, deployed at 2000 m water depth off Catania (East Sicily), the first operating node of the European project EMSO.