The Physical Acoustics Branch conducts a research and technology program aimed at developing new opportunities for exploiting physical acoustic and structural-acoustic-related phenomena, processes, and technologies in areas and systems of importance to the Navy, the DoD, and the Nation. The Branch carries out multi-disciplinary theoretical and experimental studies of (1) acoustic phenomena by means of physical techniques (e.g. optical, electrical, magnetic, holographic, thermal, biophysical, chemical) and (2) characterization by means of acousto-elastic techniques of physical phenomena, materials, and structures (e.g molecular processes, strain-optical coupling, damage/crack propagation, internal friction, low loss materials, negative index materials, thin films, nano-structures, composite materials). The experimental programs are typically conducted in a laboratory setting using state-of-the-art electronic, optical, fiber optic, acoustic, and material systems and the results are interpreted using advanced theoretical, numerical, and processing techniques. In structural acoustics the branch research aims to understand the interaction of the structure, the sound, and the vibrational energy in order to exploit the related phenomena for target detection and identification. A large component of the structural acoustics work is carried out in world-renowned holographically-based acoustic facilities (both underwater and in-air), the fundamental studies undergird technology-based programs aimed at stealthy submarine design, quiet torpedoes, quiet threat submarine detection and classification, underwater and buried mine detection and identification, wireless sensor arrays and noiseless hull mounted sonars, intruder detection and identification, fault monitoring, active smart blankets for sound control, interior material mapping by elastic displacement inversion, and others. Some of these applied programs involve field measurements. In physical acoustics, the relations between elastic vibration, phonon propagation, and other fields are studied in meso, micro, and nano structures. The research exploits the Branch's high frequency phonon, low temperature, fiber optic, micro-structure, and nano-science laboratories. The results of these studies advance the underlying science base and provide new technology for sensors, processors, and other devices.
The acting Branch Head can be reached at (202) 404-3840.
The Physical Acoustics Branch consists of three sections.
|Code 7131 - Theoretical Acoustics Section|
|Code 7135 - Wave Effects Section|
|Code 7136 - Experimental Techniques Section|