Discovery of Sound in the Sea (DOSITS)

The scientific community and the public have become increasingly aware of, and concerned about, underwater sound. There is increasing interest in learning about sources and uses of sound, and potential effects of sound on the environment. Underlying this interest, however, is a need to provide scientific information at a level appropriate for the general public and for educational and media professionals. The “Discovery of Sound in the Sea” website, www.dosits.org, provides scientific content introducing the physical science of underwater sound and how people and animals use sound to accomplish various tasks.

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Florida National Ocean Partnership Project (NOPP)

This project is being conducted in cooperation with the University of South Florida and is sponsored by the National Ocean Partnership Project (NOPP). MAI’s focus has been to record wild dolphins using a towed horizontal hydrophone array. These data were used to produce source level estimates of 164 and 161 dB re 1 µPa at 1 m for bottlenose and spotted dolphins. MAI is also performing acoustic propagation predictions in order to estimate the detection range around individual bottom-mounted acoustic recorders.

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Marine Assessment, Decision, and Planning Tool (MADPT)

The objective of this project is to develop a software-based tool that provides environmental planners, environmental compliance specialists, modelers, scientific researchers, synthetic trainers, and others with access to scientific data and information on marine species, especially those protected by United States (U.S.) federal regulatory mandates. Ready access to pertinent information about a marine species, such as distribution, density, behavior, and essential habitats, is vital for making informed science-based decisions, including simulation of the biological component of the marine environment.

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Marine Mammal Mitigation Decision Aid (M3DA)

MAI has been cooperating with Rite Solutions, Inc. to combine the Acoustic Integration Model © (AIM) with the Rite-View visualization software and the Vista transmission loss engine. In this portion of the project, we added the ability to simultaneously model acoustic transmission from multiple sources simultaneously within a single animation. This new software capability was applied to the analysis of a multiship Navy training exercise. The predicted sound pressure levels (SPL) and sound exposure levels (SEL) were calculated for marine mammals in the area.

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JIP’s (Joint Industry Programme) New Research Programme on the Effects of Industry Sounds on Marine Animals


Dr. Ellison has been a key advisor to the JIP’s (Joint Industry Programme) New Research Programme on the Effects of Industry Sounds on Marine Animals since its inception in 2006. He currently serves on its External Advisory Panel, and is also a member of the Metrics Subcommittee.

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Environmental Compliance Support for Operational Deployment of the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) Sonar Systems


This long-term effort entails the comprehensive environmental compliance support for the testing, training and operational deployment of the Navy’s SURTASS LFA sonar systems...

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Fram Strait Environmental Assessment

The Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) uses underwater sound to monitor heat flux and currents and understand the effects of climate variability on water mass transport and sea ice exchange. They received funding from the European Union (EU) to conduct an acoustic tomography experiment in Fram Strait. Before the EU would authorize the experiment, they required an Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) to consider whether the experiment may cause any grave danger to marine mammals, which may lead to any ethical problems.

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Submarine Sonar (AN/BQQ-10) Testing and Evaluation

MAI plays a key role supporting Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport in Developmental Testing of submarine sonar systems for the Submarine Acoustic Systems Program Office (PMS-401). MAI assists the preparation of Test and Evaluation Master Plans (TEMP), prepares the measurement and analysis plans and address the details of measurement and analysis methodologies, develops analytic tools to be used in the analysis, supports the execution of testing by providing observers and test directors, and conducts analyses of the measurements leading to reports on the system performance and compliance with metrics.

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Undersea Warfare Advanced Development

MAI provides critical technical support to the Program Executive Officer Integrated Warfare Systems Office Director of Advanced Development (Undersea Warfare Systems) (PEO IWS 5A) in the development of undersea warfare technologies and systems. These technologies include Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) distributed autonomous sensors such as the Deep Water Active Distributed System (DWADS) and the Reliable Acoustics Path Vertical Line Array (RAP VLA), a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Variable Depth Sonar (VDS), and the Surface Ship ASW Synthetic Trainer (SAST).

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Submarine Combat System (AN/BYG-1) Development Support

MAI supports the Submarine Combat System Program Office (PMS 425) in the development of the Tactical Control Sub-System (TCS) of the AN/BYG-1 Submarine Combat Control System (CCS). MAI personnel have extensive operational and technical experience with submarine Combat Control Systems, including involvement in the Advanced Processing Build (APB) Process supporting the development of combat control tactical information algorithms.

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Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) Low Frequency Active (LFA) and Compact Low Frequency Active (CLFA) Testing


MAI provides critical support to Maritime Surveillance Systems Program Office (PMS 485) in Developmental Testing of the LFA/CLFA systems, in the development of draft operational guidance, and in the preparation of training supporting system introduction.

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SH-2G(E) Helicopter ASW/ASuW Tactics and Training

The objective of this project is to develop tactics and training guides for SH-2G(E) SeaSprite helicopters purchased from the US government under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program to complement host nation defense capabilities. The fundamentals and tactics developed by the MAI team are tailored to the systems installed on the SH-2G(E).

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