RPS launches artificial intelligence for the detection and classification of marine mammals

01 Jun 2023

After 18 months in development and testing, RPS is proud to present Neptune, our predictive algorithm for the accurate and reliable detection of marine mammal vocalisations.

Sub-sea sound emitted during the in-field development of offshore wind and oil and gas exploration efforts can potentially negatively impact marine mammals, causing temporary and/or permanent hearing loss, disrupted feeding and breeding cycles, and even physical injury. Consequently, these activities are closely regulated around the world.

To address and mitigate this global issue, RPS has developed “Neptune”, a unique and robust algorithm for automating the detection and classification of marine mammal vocalisations.

Neptune uses artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) techniques while continuously monitoring acoustic data during offshore exploration and construction activities.

In partnership with Microsoft, RPS has also developed a unique cloud-based solution to house Neptune and its various components, enabling efficiencies and full automation across multiple client activities globally.

By continuously streaming acoustic data to RPS’ Cloud-Neptune, the AI can monitor multiple vessels simultaneously and provide a non-biased opinion to the remote operator of any positive detections. Mitigation actions can then be replayed back to the vessel in real-time.

This patented complex algorithm has been rigorously tested alongside professional passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) in-field operators with detection validation supported by the leading bioacoustics institutions SMRU Consulting and Ocean Science Analytics.

Commenting on this project, David O’Hara, Senior Vice President RPS says, “It became quite evident that the rapid advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence technology could significantly enhance the passive acoustic monitoring effort during our clients’ marine construction and exploration activities.    

"Creating a robust and reliable technology product that can reduce unnecessary operational downtime will save our clients time and money.

"Notwithstanding, RPS and our clients fully understand the reduction of personnel offshore increases the safety and wellbeing of our people, which is always our top priority. It simply felt like a natural evolution of the services RPS currently offers to the energy sector offshore. I’m proud to work alongside so many talented people and I’m excited to see Neptune ready to be introduced to the market”.


Neptune benefits

  • Increased objective and non-biased detection
  • Reduced false positives and operational downtime
  • Improved in-field exploration planning and mitigation
  • Improved health and safety, supporting the wellbeing of our people and the environment
  • Decreased carbon footprint
  • Decreased in-field investment

Find out more about RPS marine life mitigation services here or click here to learn more about Neptune.

About RPS

Founded in 1970, RPS, A Tetra Tech Company (RPS) is a leading global professional services firm of 5,000 consultants and service providers. Operating in 125 countries, working across six continents we define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

RPS delivers a broad range of services in six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, defence and government services and resources. Services provided across RPS' six sectors cover twelve service clusters: project and program management, design and development, water services, environment, advisory and management consulting, exploration and development, planning and approvals, health, safety and risk, oceans and coastal, laboratories, training and communications, creative and digital services.

RPS stands out for its clients by using its deep expertise to solve problems that matter, making them easy to understand. Making complex easy.

 For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com.

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