Environmental Sciences Laboratory

ESL staff at sea


Researchers in the Environmental Sciences Laboratory design, prototype, test, analyze, and support sonar systems and surveillance systems worldwide, as well as design, develop, and deploy measurement and analysis systems in aircraft, on the ground, and at sea to full ocean depth. ESL's broad objective is to provide high quality technical expertise in ocean acoustics, signal processing and array design, and undersea warfare system performance. The primary sponsor for this research is the U.S. Navy, and most of the work is focused on Anti-Submarine Warfare applications.

Research Areas

ESL improves distributed surveillance system performance by conducting experimental and modeling research in acoustics and signal processing. Experimental work includes at-sea tests with the Shallow Water Acoustic Measurement Instrumentation (SWAMI) arrays and the Deep Ocean Survey System (DOSS) arrays. Data from these tests are analyzed and used as the basis for developing and testing new detection and tracking concepts. Modeling is done on a single node level, such as modeling of acoustic propagation, and at a overall system level, such as modeling the interaction of a target and distributed surveillance system sensors.
ESL has numerous data acquisition systems, for use in underwater, laboratory, and other types of exercises or experiments. ESL data acquisition systems have been used on submarines, as autonomous ocean bottom-mounted systems, in a variety of field exercises, and in flight tests. ARL:UT has maintained a state-of-the-art digitizing lab and has significant expertise in tape recorder technology and data handling.
Acoustic Propagation Modeling and Data Analysis
The Environmental Sciences Laboratory has a long history of developing state of the art signal processing algorithms. These algorithms, developed since the mid-1980s, have been installed in many Naval SONAR systems. ESL’s signal processing sponsors include SPAWAR, NAVSEA, ONI, ONR, and DARPA. The staff within ESL are acknowledged leaders in the fields that include conventional and adaptive beamforming, broadband processing, matched field processing and active signal processing.