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NPL at the Royal Institution of Great Britain

Products and services

Underwater acoustics

World-leading underwater acoustic expertise and facilities

NPL’s underwater acoustics metrology work underpins the protection and sustainable exploitation of our oceans, providing traceable calibrations required by regulation to make absolute measurements of sound in the ocean. Acoustics is the preferred modality for imaging, positioning and navigation in the offshore energy industry and marine technology.

We offer a wide range of services including calibration of hydrophones, free-field acoustic testing and characterisation of sonars, testing of transducers using simulated ocean conditions, calibrating digital marine autonomous recorders and a wide range of acoustic nearfield methods for characterisation of large aperture sonars.

In addition, we can develop new standard procedures to meet evolving industry needs, for example for the in-situ measurement and assessment of underwater radiated noise from offshore activities, such as marine construction and shipping. We also provide consultancy to developers and users of underwater acoustic equipment.  In addition, NPL provides consultancy and training in underwater acoustics and is a provider of calibration services to the UK Ministry of Defence (no charge for use when quoting a valid UK MOD contract).

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We offer a unique suite of underwater acoustics facilities for the calibration of hydrophones and the characterisation of acoustic fields generated by transducers and sonar systems.

We’re here to help

Still struggling to work out what you need? We pride ourselves on giving sound technical advice to guide you. By combining expert advice, standard tests and bespoke consultancy, you can be confident in our approach.

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Keep our seas acoustically safe



Creating a noise monitoring system in the North Sea



Find out more about our expertise in this area, and how we are creating impact from science and engineering.

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070