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Structural Acoustics & Vehicle Silencing
Ocean Acoustics
Sonar System Design and Analysis
Transduction
Experimentation and Calibration
Acoustic Test Tank Facility
Structural Acoustics & Vehicle Silencing
The importance of submarine quieting and target strength reduction in pre- and post-WWII warfare are often overlooked.  In fact, at the height of the Cold War, the “Silent War” conducted under the sea surface required tremendous investments in scientific R&D resulting in a worldwide and rapid maturation of structural acoustics research, development and engineering.

Today, the focus has turned to simplifying and reducing costs of marine combatant designs without sacrificing stealth.  To this end, APS has and continues to conduct applied research and development in structural acoustics for the Office of Naval Research, NAVSEA, General Dynamics Electric Boat, and other prime contractors .  Our current focus is on computationally efficient numerical tools that can be used to evaluate next generation vehicles, propulsion systems, and signature reduction systems.  Our research has also included development of models to predict and measure wave propagation phenomena in structures and example model results are shown below for a surface ship model.  Other work has included the development of shock and acoustic isolation mounts, acoustically tailored composites, damping treatments, and ship noise models.

 


Additionally, APS offers expertise in vehicle silencing and the modeling, simulation and experimentation of acoustic treatment performance, elastic scattering, target strength reduction and physics-based target echo classification.  Our analysis tools include: custom developed transmission line and impedance matrix formulations; layered elastic media models including fiber composites; finite element analysis; statistical energy analysis, modal analysis, motor acoustic forcing function estimation, and noise audit modeling.  Our modeling tools have recently been employed to evaluate the vibration and radiation produced by electric propulsion system concepts.


Structural acoustics expertise at APS is not limited to marine vehicle quieting, however.  For example, APS also has a wealth of experience in ultrasonics, particularly for non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring.


Further examples of our interests and experience in structural acoustics include:

     Using structural-acoustic based measurements to: infer dynamic mechanical properties of materials; and localize excitation sources in complex structures.

Development and Implementation of acoustic holography and imaging algorithms.
Development and mplementation of array processing schemes to infer elastic wave scattering and power flow.
     Methods to improve performance of acoustic sensors, particularly those deployed in towed arrays or from a vehicle (e.g., a submarine or an autonomous underwater vehicle).  Our integrated approach to sensor system design considers vibrational and acoustic platform noise, flow noise and local scattering.  Under a recently awarded SBIR project, APS is investigating various methods to improve autonomous underwater vehicles as low frequency acoustic vector sensor platforms, including the possibility of treating an entire neutrally buoyant vehicle as a vector sensor itself.


Schematic illustration of a compound mount for vector sensors operated from unmanned underwater vehicles.

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