First Non-Military Standard, Underwater Noise

Friday, December 18, 2009

A new voluntary consensus standard for the measurement of underwater noise from ships is now available from the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  The new standard will be known as ANSI/ASA S12.64-2009/Part 1, “American National Standard, Quantities and Procedures for Description and Measurement of Underwater Sound from Ships- Part 1: General Requirements”. 

Noise Control Engineering, Inc. of Billerica, Mass. led the effort to develop the new standard having its Vice President Michael Bahtiarian chair the committee.  NCE also provided significant administrative resources to completing the effort.  “We started this effort to fill a need for NCE clients designing and building quiet research vessels,” noted Chair Bahtiarian.

It is the first ASA noise standard concerned with underwater sound.  More distinctly it is the first known civilian standard in the world for quantifying the underwater sound of ships.  The standard describes requirements for instrumentation, measurement procedure and data post processing in order to quantify a ship’s underwater radiated noise level referenced to a normalized distance of 1 meter.

The standard has three different grades denoted A, B and C. Grade A is the precision method intended for contract requirement conformance testing.  Grade B is an engineering method which could be used for less critical contract requirements and/or periodic assessments.  Grade C is a survey method which would be used for periodic assessments and “quick-look” tests.

The standard was developed by the S12/Working Group 47, a subgroup of ANSI Accredited Standards Committee S12, Noise, which is administered by the ASA.  Members of working group included professionals from government, academia and industry.  Government members included personnel from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Academia included members from University of Delaware, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Florida Atlantic University, University of Rhode Island and University of New Hampshire.  Industry included private consultants to Fortune500 companies.  International participation came from Canada, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia.

For more information contact Michael Bahtiarian at 978-670-5339. 


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