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Underwater Acoustics, IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society Technology Committee on


This committee is concerned with the generation, propagation, scattering, and reception of underwater sound, particularly technologies that enable detection, classification, localization, and quantification. Generic devices used for transmission and/or reception include echo sounders, multibeam sonars, sidescan sonars, acoustic-lens-based sonars, parametric sonars, standard sound sources, and hydrophones used singly or in arrays. When calibrated, these active or passive devices enable measurement and quantitative imaging. Operating frequencies span the sub-hertz to low-megahertz range. Traditional applications include hydrography, as in detecting hazards and determining bathymetry for navigation; military, as in anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures; and search and discovery, as for uses by law enforcement. Other major applications are bioacoustics, or quantification of fish, zooplankton, marine mammals, and other organisms, both mobile and stationary, as in the case of sea grass; environmental acoustics, or direct measurement and/or inference of hydrographic properties of the water column and material properties of the seafloor and sub-bottom; sediment acoustics, or measurement of the properties of suspended and consolidated sediment; and seismic acoustics, involving measurement of natural vibrations in the earth and imaging of the sub-bottom in geophysical exploration. Industrial applications abound, as in surveying the seafloor for offshore civil engineering projects; detecting natural gas seeps and pipeline leaks; inspecting vessel hulls; inspecting subsea platforms used by the offshore oil and gas industry; surveying routes for cables and pipelines; and monitoring noise produced by offshore industrial activities. The committee routinely convenes and conducts sessions at OCEANS Conferences, and liaises with other TCs.

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