Cohort company SEA has been awarded a UK Ministry of Defence contract to upgrade the Ambient Noise Prediction System (ANPS) for the UK Royal Navy.

The ANPS takes meteorological and oceanographic forecasts, together with oceanographic databases, and performs complex acoustic propagation calculations to produce regular forecasts of ambient noise conditions in the ocean. The results enable the UK Royal Navy vessels to plan operations and improve the effectiveness of their sonars, allowing them to adjust elements such as sonar frequencies and depths accordingly.

Noise sources in the marine environment have changed considerably over the past few years, as have the quality and resolution of meteorological forecasting models and geo-acoustic data. The upgraded ANPS will incorporate the latest available environmental information and take advantage of higher resolution meteorological models to produce ambient forecasts that will be used by vessels equipped with sonar assets throughout the UK Royal Navy.

The ANPS was first developed by SEA, which worked in conjunction with the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and in collaboration with NATO scientists to undertake research into acoustic characterization of the seabed. It was released to the RN in 2003.

The ANPS is now part of the operational support provided to the Fleet by the Joint Operational Meteorology and Oceanography Centre (JOMOC).

Peter Rhodes, Project Manager for Maritime Research at SEA commented: “ANPS is a valuable element in ensuring that RN ships achieve the best results in deploying their sonar assets and this update will take advantage of the latest data and resources available.

“SEA’s expertise in acoustics and the underwater environment means that we are well suited to support NCHQ in the upgrade. We are delighted to once again be the customer of choice for the upgrade of the ANPS and to continue supporting frontline naval platforms”.

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