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Underwater acoustics

Calibration of sonar transducers

Calibration and characterisation of sonar transducers and systems

NPL has a unique suite of underwater acoustics facilities for the characterisation of acoustic fields generated by transducers and sonar systems, providing the traceability to national standards for compliance with quality systems, regulation, and performance specification. The services include free-field acoustic testing and characterisation of sonars and transducers in the frequency range 250 Hz to 1 MHz by use of state-of-the-art free-field test facilities consisting of both laboratory tanks and the NPL open-water test facility.

NPL’s services include:

  • Free-field calibration of the receive sensitivity and/or transmitting response of transducers and sonars in the frequency range from 315 Hz to 1 MHz.
  • Directional response measurement of sonars and transducers in the frequency range 1 kHz to 1 MHz over 360 degrees of rotation in both the horizontal and vertical plane
  • Transducer electrical impedance/admittance in the frequency range 20 Hz to 20 MHz

Measurements of sensitivity and electrical impedance are accredited to ISO 17025 via UKAS.

Acoustic nearfield characterisation of sonars

Using our state-of-the-art laboratory tank facilities, NPL can use acoustic near-field measurement methods for characterisation of sonar transducers. Such near field measurements are valuable for transducers and sonars with a large acoustic aperture such that measurements are not possible in the acoustic far-field. The near-field measurements can be used to predict the far-field response, or to back-propagate to predict the pressure distribution on the surface of the source.

Our experienced team of scientific staff offer a flexible cost-effective approach to test work with a choice of service arrangements:

  • Fixed price - calibration and tests undertaken by NPL staff on customer devices to a schedule agreed with the customer, with results presented in a report.
  • Day rates - calibration and tests undertaken by NPL staff in collaboration with customer staff on customer devices to a schedule agreed.
  • Facility hire rates - facilities available for hire, including NPL trained staff.

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Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070