New Wave Media

February 19, 2021

MacArtney Develops Advanced Telemetry System for Jasco Underwater Listening Stations

Deployment of Jasco ULS comprising MacArtney Mini-T multiplexer systems. Photo: MacArtney

Deployment of Jasco ULS comprising MacArtney Mini-T multiplexer systems. Photo: MacArtney

Years of development culminated in a MacArtney telemetry concept measuring and transmitting individual noise profiles for complex acoustic data tracking to help preserve and recover one of Canada's most iconic species - the Southern Resident Killer Whale.

Under the Canadian Species at Risk Act, the Southern Resident Killer Whale was recently concluded to be facing an approaching threat to survival and recovery. At Boundary Pass in the Salish Sea, an enhanced monitoring project provides an underwater sound picture of the Southern Resident Killer Whale's habitat, consequently rendering the most effective noise reduction measures.

The Jasco Underwater Listening Stations (ULS), commissioned by Transport Canada under the federal government's five-year Whales Initiative, will passively track endangered whales and thousands of commercial vessels frequenting British Columbia's southern ports on an annual basis.
On the system solution and scope of supply for the Jasco Applied Sciences ULS, Andrew Palmer – General Manager at MacArtney Canada Ltd. - comments:

"MacArtney and Jasco have been working on the concept of the ULS for several years. The challenge was to develop a telemetry system that would not interfere with the acoustic data gathered by the Jasco hydrophone arrays. The scope of this project was one of the larger, if not the largest, development we've ever undertaken at MacArtney Canada Ltd., and I could not be more pleased with what we've accomplished."
The project scope includes two Jasco Underwater Listening Stations, each comprising two MacArtney Mini-T multiplexer systems and one MacArtney LUXUS HD camera.

The MacArtney Mini-T multiplexers enable the Jasco ULS systems to provide real-time communications to a shore via a subsea fibre optic cable. 


MacArtney Mini-T multiplexer systems installed in Jasco Underwater Listening Station.


The sensor suite aboard each ULS consists of various sensors, including:

  • An array of hydrophones
  • High definition video camera
  • LED light
  • Acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP)
  • Conductivity, temperature, and depth sensor (CTD)

MacArtney's line of EMO multiplexers enables multiple data streams and control signals to be transmitted simultaneously through a single optical fibre. This allows for real-time data transfer over vast distances through a smaller cable with minimal conductors. On the opposite end of the system, a de-multiplexer converts the data back into the original formats where it may be accessed via an interface from the rack-mounted console.

The data collected by the ULS systems will be used to create individual vessel noise profiles, to detect and track whales, and to monitor noise levels in the Boundary Pass for many years to come.

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