National Physical Laboratory

Acoustics research Research

NPL's Ultrasound & Underwater Acoustics Group undertakes long-term, leading-edge research to develop new and improved measurement methods that will impact on future UK services and products.

NPL provides world-class standards for measurement and calibration, and undertakes measurement related research and development, in two main areas within Acoustics:

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  • NPL offers guidance on acoustic emission measurements and calibration, and carries out measurements for customers on a consultancy basis.
  • Technical Guides on Ultrasonics and Underwater Acoustics.
  • There is a clear need to develop reliable methods for quantifying cavitation occurring in flow systems, which should lead to extensive energy savings through better pump selection, installation and operation.
  • Technical guide on the use and selection of acoustic emission sensor couplants.
  • Leading-edge research investigating development of techniques for determining acoustic cavitation in industrial high power ultrasonic fields.
  • Determining the acoustic output of medical devices is essential for manufacturers to demonstrate standards compliance, but is also important in prototype evaluation and type testing.
  • NPL provides services for hospitals and industry, through the calibration of radiation force balances for determining ultrasonic output power, and the measurement of ultrasonic power itself, produced by customer systems ranging from prototype transducers to reference sources.
  • The NMS primary standard for hydrophone calibration, the laser interferometer, will continue to be provided, alongside measurement facilities used to disseminate hydrophone calibration services to the user community.


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission