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Optimizing Sonar Performance by Managing Acoustics

Presentation given at the 2014 INMARTECH Meeting in Corvallis, Oregon in November, 2014.

Typical Sources of Acoustic Noise:

  • Machinery Noise
  • Sonar Interference
  • Electronic Noise
  • Propeller Cavitation (Hub and Tip Vortex)
  • Hydrodynamic Flow Noise
  • Appendage Cavitation
  • Transients
  • Bubble Sweepdown

Why Acoustic Noise is Important:

  • Excessive ship-related noise can degrade sonar performance
  • Degraded sonar performance will impact quality of acquired sonar data
  • Reduced sonar performance will increase time required on station to conduct survey operations

What is Quiet?

  • Typically 49 dB is used as a quiet ship threshold for 12 kHz systems
  • For shallower systems that operate at higher frequencies, the threshold is in the lower 40 dB range
  • However, with more information being pulled out of sonar data (water column), the better the signal-to-noise, the better the data quality