Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Method Simulates Sonic Boom Ocean Penetration

Date:
December 8, 1997
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Penn State engineers have developed new methods for simulating sonic boom penetration into the ocean and estimating how loud a noise the boom makes underwater where it could potentially annoy whales, fish and other marine life.

University Park, Pa. --- Penn State engineers have developed new methods for simulating sonic boom penetration into the ocean and estimating how loud a noise the boom makes underwater where it could potentially annoy whales, fish and other marine life.

Dr. Victor W. Sparrow, associate professor of acoustics, and Judy Rochat, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Acoustics, developed the technique and described improvements to it today (Dec. 4) at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, Calif., in the session on Noise and Engineering Acoustics: Noise Modeling and Outdoor Sound Propagation.

Sparrow and Rochat's new simulation technique, called a finite difference method, can compute the penetrating sonic boom noise for both simple and complex ocean surfaces, corresponding to calm and rough seas. Using the new technique, the Penn State researchers found that a somewhat complex wavy ocean surface only slightly augments the underwater noise from a sonic boom.

Recently, through a stroke of luck, Sparrow was able to confirm that simulations developed through the new computational technique closely match actual ocean observations. In a case of discovery favoring the prepared mind, Sparrow heard a report, in summer 1997, from a Canadian research team that was measuring ambient ocean noise as part of a project unrelated to his. A supersonic aircraft just happened to pass overhead as they were taking underwater measurements. The booms produced by the aircraft were an annoyance to the Canadians but a gift to Sparrow since the observations confirmed the reliability of the Sparrow/Rochat approach.

Sparrow says, "One would have had to spend millions of research dollars to arrange an expedition to make the underwater sonic boom recordings that the Canadians researchers got by chance."

Rochat adds that it is currently illegal to fly supersonically over land. So, supersonic planes use sea routes. She says that we can expect a new breed of supersonic passenger aircraft to be operating early in the next century, making the need for ways to gauge the possible underwater disturbances newly imperative.

Sparrow notes that all whales are mammals and some species hear over much of the same range of frequencies that humans do. However, he is quick to point out that he and his research group will not be looking into the effects of the sound levels the new fleet of supersonic planes will have on marine life. They are leaving that to the biologists. Sparrow says that by using the new simulation method and other techniques, engineers will be able to tell aircraft designers what the whales and fish will hear before the new planes are built. As a result, the aircraft designers and manufacturers should be able to minimize effects in the range that the biologists indicate may be problematic for marine life.

At the meeting Sparrow also presented a paper in the session on Noise, Musical Acoustics and Underwater Acoustics: Session in Honor of Robert W. Young. That paper described the application of another complementary tool, the boundary element method (BEM), to simulate the sonic boom noise reaching the whales.

The Sparrow and Rochat research was supported, in part, by grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "New Method Simulates Sonic Boom Ocean Penetration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971208072042.htm>.
Penn State. (1997, December 8). New Method Simulates Sonic Boom Ocean Penetration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971208072042.htm
Penn State. "New Method Simulates Sonic Boom Ocean Penetration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971208072042.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins