Sensors & Underwater Acoustics


The Sensors & Underwater Acoustics module aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles of sonar, including background signals and their impact on sonar performance, sonar propagation in deep and shallow waters, the sonar equations and range prediction. Students will also gain essential knowledge in sonar system design and signal processing techniques that are employed within the many different sonar systems used within hydrography. This is allied with a comprehensive review of other non-acoustic techniques such as LIDAR.

Includes lectures in
  • Sonar Parameters
  • The Nature of Sound in the Sea
  • Sonar Equation
  • Detection Theory
  • Sonar Propagation
  • Single Beam Echosounding
  • Sidescan Sonar
  • Multibeam Echosounding
  • Interferometry
  • Marine Optics & Lidar

Key skills learned

  • Principles of sonar and ability to evaluate performance in a variety of complex oceanographic conditions.
  • Ability to discuss the theory of operation of the main sonar systems; including single beam, sidescan and multibeam echo sounders.
  • Application of tidal and marine environmental theory to maximising sensor performance.
  • Ability to describe and evaluate a variety of non-acoustic techniques including LIDAR.



13 weeks part-time study


20 transferable credits at academic level 7


Coursework only (Personal Development Portfolio) submitted on week 13.