Scottish (UK) R&D SME with their lead market being the European salmon farming industry seek a partner who possess proven expertise in the design, manufacture and servicing of acoustic arrays for the transmission of acoustic frequencies in water. In particular the design and manufacture of transducers, active hydrophones and sonar arrays to protect farmed fish health. Commercial agreement with technical assistance is sought.
This Scottish company is a joint venture between a marine physicist and an experienced aquaculturist and their focus is on exploiting the potential for physical stimuli to manage farmed fish health challenges. Research is targeted at developing innovative solutions to five key business critical fish welfare challenges. Projects are based on the underwater use of physical stimuli to protect farmed fish health.
The company are looking for a partner to manufacture and provide in service support for devices in various aquaculture markets.
The lead project is anticipated to reach TRL7 by end of June 2019. The company therefore requires a manufacturing partner to transfer their research into a commercially viable product. A product that is suitable for the provision of routine veterinary health interventions to protect the welfare of large populations of farmed salmon.
The commercial product requires an acoustic source to create a specific sound pressure field (frequency and amplitude varying with time) in a suitable volume of water containing fish, such volume to be a maximum of 10,000 m3.
It is anticipated that the acoustic source will be an array of transducers or active hydrophones configured to act as a wide beam angle sound source transmitting acoustic frequencies into water. The array will consist of either a number of transducers or active hydrophones either angled to create a wide beam angle, or will be beam formed to create a wide-angle sound source.
The sound will have a significant sound pressure level and field strengths of 160dB-240dB re 1uPa1m are predicted. Initially acoustic frequencies (1kHz-20kHz) are of interest but further work extending into the low ultrasound frequencies (20kHz -100kHz) are predicted. The sound source will have a 100% duty cycle rating for periods up to 30 minutes. The sound source will be immersed in water (either seawater or freshwater) and all cables and connections must be suitable for regular marine use.
A long term commercial agreement with technical assistance is sought.
- Type of partner sought: The sound source will consist of the acoustic array, matching transformers, acoustic amplification and control system necessary to produce the desired sound field in the specified volume of water containing known populations of farmed fish.
It is anticipated that the sound source will consist of transducers or active hydrophones in an array and may involve beam forming.
As high sound pressure levels are predicted acoustic impedance matching faces must be designed to avoid cavitation damage. The sound source will be deployed in water containing the population of farmed fish and it will be some distance from a supporting vessel (up to 100m on occasions). The equipment must be reliable when operating in North Atlantic water temperatures and weather conditions.
The amplification and control systems are anticipated to be installed in 19 inch rack housing(s) inside the support vessel or in a container on a barge. The matching transformers can be installed in the array or beside the amplifiers depending on system design and safety/efficiency.
All equipment must be capable of being powered by either 50 or 60 Hz mains. Additional monitoring of performance via additional passive hydrophones and analysis is beneficial.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: The company are looking for a partner to manufacture and provide in service support for devices in various aquaculture markets.
It would be beneficial if the manufacturing partner could also design, manufacture and service the additional system components including matching transformers, amplification and power electronics, control system, connectors, cables and enclosures. This may be by a combination of in-house manufacture and system engineering of commercial off the shelf (COTS) or modified off the shelf (MOTS) equipment.
The complete system will take a supplied sound profile in digital form and to generate the acoustic sound profile throughout a volume of water at agreed amplitudes and frequencies. The farmed fish populations will be under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon and they will require proof of calibration and CE marking.
It is anticipated that the manufacturing partner will be well established in mature market(s) and will be actively seeking to expand into a new market, one which is protected by intellectual property and know how and which offers ambitious companies excellent opportunities for sustainable expansion.
The intended partnership is long-term and will ideally also include assisting the company in the design, manufacture and service of future new devices as and when the company develop additional technologies which successfully attract commercial interest from their international customer base.
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