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The Acoustics Division conducts basic and applied research addressing the physics of acoustic signal generation, propagation, scatter, and detection with the objective of improving the strategic and tactical capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps in the ocean and land operational environment. 

The Division’s scientists and engineers perform collaborative research with scientists affiliated with national and international academic, private, and governmental research organizations. 

Acoustics research spans classical and quantum physics, signal processing, the impact of fluid dynamics on the oceans sound speed field [speed at which sound travels underwater], the propagation and scatter of acoustic signals in the ocean and land environments, structural and physical acoustics including the development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology based sensors, and the application of networked unmanned underwater vehicles and associated sensors to the Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Mine Countermeasures (MCM); and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.


Research Branches

Acoustic Signal Processing and Systems​
  • Underwater acoustic communications and networking
  • Limits of array performance
  • Waveguide invariant processing
  • Acoustic field uncertainty
  • Acoustic interactions with transonic/supersonic flows
  • Acoustic noise forecasting
  • Long-range underwater communications
  • Underwater distributed sensing networks
  • Ocean boundary scattering
  • Acoustic propagation
  • Acoustic inversion
  • Characterization of reverberation
  • Acoustic metamaterials
  • Acoustics of microfluidic bubbly emulsions
  • Active sonar performance modeling
  • Compressive sensing
  • Acoustic classification
  • Nonlinear propagation 
  • Underwater acoustic network warfare

Acoustic Simulation, Measurements, and Tactics​
  • Ocean acoustic propagation and scattering models
  • Fleet application acoustic models
  • High-frequency seafloor and ocean acoustic measurements
  • Riverine acoustics
  • Distributed sensing networks
  • Incorporating uncertainty in predictive models
  • Tactical acoustic simulations and databases
  • Warfare effectiveness studies and optimization
  • Environmental assessment and planning tools
Physical Acoustics​
  • Autonomy for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV)
  • Acoustic Stealth for Underwater Systems
  • Counter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (CUUV)
  • Active & Passive Distributed Autonomous Systems (DAS)
  • Target Scattering Modeling for Multi-Statics
  • Structural Acoustics Sonar (Acoustic Color) for MCM/ ASW
  • Zero and Low Doppler Sonar Signal Processing
  • Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) signal processing
  • Buried Object Detection and Classification
  • Acoustics Transduction for Broadband Systems
  • Single Crystal Materials for Transduction
  • Fiber-Optic Sensors
  • Nearfield Acoustic & EM Holography
  • Compact Range Scattering and Radiation (CRSR)
  • Hydrogen in Graphene Storage for Fuel Cells
  • Control of Phonon Transport in Thin Films
  • Fundamental loss mechanisms in thin films
  • Terahertz (THz) Acoustics
  • Nanomechanical resonators and devices