A Bit of Underwater Acoustics and Oceanic Ambient Noise

David Bradley
Affiliate Research Professor

University of New Hampshire

Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, 3:10pm
Chase 105

A quick overview of underwater acoustics and what is required to make oceanic measurements.The ocean is a harsh environment and the demands on electronic and mechanical equipments are high. In addition, the interests of scientists and engineers lead to measurement systems that are far more expensive and complex than their terrestrial counterparts. The United Nations has established a world-wide network of sensors as part of system to monitor for clandestine Nuclear Weapon testing. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (or, CTBTO), as part of this network, has a number of undersea sites that collect the acoustic signals that have traveled via the ocean, from a test site to the sensor. The data is collected 24/7 and retained; this data is available to researchers around the world to use for analysis of ambient noise in the ocean. Examples of the data and discussion of its value to the research community will be presented.


Dr. David L. Bradley is an Affiliate Research Professor at the University of New Hampshire. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Michigan Technological University in 1960, a master’s degree in physics from Michigan State University in 1963 and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America in 1970. Dr. Bradley has served as director of the NATO Underwater Research Center, La Spezia, Italy; superintendent of the Acoustics Division of the Naval Research Laboratory; and mine warfare technical adviser to the Chief of Naval Operations.

His seminal contributions to the field of acoustics have been recognized with many awards and leadership positions within the Acoustical Society of America's (ASA). They include the Meritorious Civilian Service Award and Superior Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Navy. He has served as chair of the ASA's Underwater Acoustics Technical Committee, on their the Executive Council, as an associate editor, and as chair of the Medals and Awards Committee.