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NEWS - Thursday, May. 10, 2012
Navy study: Sonar, blasts might hurt more sea life
By AUDREY McAVOY - Associated Press
HONOLULU -- The U.S. Navy may hurt more dolphins and whales by using sonar and explosives in Hawaii and California under a more thorough analysis that reflects new research and covers naval activities in a wider area than previous studies.
The Navy estimates its use of explosives and sonar may unintentionally cause more than 1,600 instances of hearing loss or other injury to marine mammals each year, according to a draft environmental impact statement that covers training and testing planned from 2014 to 2019. The Navy calculates the explosives could potentially kill more than 200 marine mammals a year. A notice about the study is due to appear Friday in the Federal Register. John Van Dame, right, U.S. Pacific Fleet senior environmental planner, and Roy Sokolowski, a U.S. Pacific Fleet sonar modeling expert, speak in Honolulu on Thursday, May 10, 2012 about the Navy's new environmental impact statement for training and testing in Hawaii and California waters.
The U.S. Navy says its training and testing using sonar and explosives could potentially hurt more dolphins and whales in Hawaii and California waters than previously thought.
The old Navy analysis - covering 2009-2013 - estimated the service might unintentionally cause injury or death to about 100 marine mammals in Hawaii and California, although no deaths have been reported. The larger numbers are partially the result of the Navy's use of new research on marine mammal behavior and updated computer models that predict how sonar affects animals. The Navy also expanded the scope of its study to include things like in-port sonar testing - something sailors have long done but wasn't analyzed in the Navy's last environmental impact statement.
The analysis covers training and testing in waters between Hawaii and California for the first time as well. "Each time around, each time we swing through this process, we get better, we take a harder look, we become more inclusive," said John Van Name, senior environmental planner at the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Navy isn't saying it will injure whales and dolphins as it trains sailors and tests equipment. It's telling the public and environmental regulators that its actions have the potential to harm or otherwise prompt a reaction in the animals. The Navy takes a variety of measures to prevent harm to the animals, including turning off sonar when marine mammals are spotted nearby. It says the actual numbers of injured animals would be lower as a result.
The Navy must provide the information to the National Marine Fisheries Service to earn a permit for its activities. If it didn't do so and was later found to have harmed marine mammals, it would be found in violation of federal environmental law and have to stop its training and testing. Zak Smith, staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said he's encouraged the Navy reduced the threshold for the level of sonar it found to affect beaked whales - a species that appears to be particularly sensitive to the noise.
The Navy said it changed the threshold because research has shown beaked whales move away and otherwise react when exposed to a lower level of sound than earlier studies indicated. "My first glance shows there's positive steps," Smith said after he took a quick look at the 1,800-page document. But he said he would have to look at the details before giving his full assessment.
The Navy uses sonar to track enemy submarines, torpedoes, mines and other potential threats underwater. Sonar operators send pulses of sound through the ocean and then listen for echoes from objects hit by the sound waves. Scientists say the sound may disrupt the feeding patterns of marine mammals. The sound may also startle some species of whales, causing them to surface rapidly. The Navy will be holding public meetings on the study in Hawaii during the week of June 11 and in Southern California on June 20. ----
Read more here: webcache.googleusercontent.com...:www.myrtlebeachonline.com...
DARPA-BAA-12-41: Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (ViSAR), Response Date 6/18/2012
DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of compact flyable Extremely High Frequency (EHF) electronics (including exciters, receivers and power amplifiers), SAR scene simulation software, and advanced algorithms for an EHF-band Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to provide high resolution imagery at high frame rates while minimizing Size Weight and Power (SWAP)
DARPA-BAA-12-26: Advanced RF Mapping (RadioMap) Program, Response Date 8/28/2012
DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of Radio Frequency (RF) situational awareness employing a heterogeneous sensor network, whose constituent devices include RF receiver/transmitters deployed for other purposes such as tactical radios, using an approach that facilitates extension of the network to incorporate additional device types and to support additional Electronic Warfare/Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (EW/ISR) applications.
DARPA-BAA-12-32: System F6 On-Orbit Demonstration Testbed, Response Date 6/25/2012
This Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) announces DARPA's intention to fund the development of satellite buses to populate the System F6 demonstration cluster, host the F6 Technology Package and inter-satellite communications crosslinks on each bus, provide additional payloads to be shared across the cluster network on some of the buses, and provide support services for integration and on-orbit demo operations.
DARPA-BAA-12-35: Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements (SeeMe), Response Date 6/29/2012
The goal of the SeeMe program is to provide useful on-demand imagery information directly to the lowest echelon warfighter
Originally posted by LemaEcho
... these certain sounds have been a mixed bag for where they occur and when. Some were far from water. So my question is this, are they beaming this down from airplanes, satellites, crazy avengers sky aircraft carrier?...My girlfriends co-worker had the sound incident out in the mountains last summer up by Stevens pass ,WA . and according to her it was the most terrifying thing she experienced in her life.And it was far from the military bases and water.
Originally posted by LemaEcho
Honestly I thought the same thing earlier today when I watched a show on tv that was talking about the sonar bloop. Sounds earily similar.
This is why I mentioned above that the sound was always heard when it was cloudy (read: water vapor).
Originally posted by PluPerfect
reply to post by SoulVisions
I am a bit curious.....because I have seen videos of these "sounds" absent: