Skip to main content

Fundamentals of Sonar

  • Delivery:

This course is designed as a follow on to the Introduction to Sonar course.

The sonar course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of underwater acoustic principles, sonar technology and applications; underpinned by the physical principles and analysis. The sonar course is suitable for those requiring a rapid introduction to advanced sonar technology, its specification and applications; particularly:

  • Hardware and software design engineers new to sonar system design
  • Naval personnel involved in sonar commissioning or its application
  • Procurement/purchasing managers requiring to prepare tenders or specifications
  • Design managers
  • Project managers
  • Installation and maintenance engineers
  • Sales engineers.

See more course details.

Key information

Next start date:

18 September 2019, 22 April 2020


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


3 days

Entry requirements:

Delegates for this sonar course will be expected to have a basic understanding of sonar terminology and underwater acoustics. A knowledge of more complex mathematics (complex numbers and calculus) would also be beneficial

Course details

This three day sonar training course is intended as a follow on to the Introduction to Sonar course, enabling you to progress from an introductory level through to advanced topics within one week.

This course will include the following topics:

Acoustic wave theory

  • Complex representation of fields
  • Vibration and acoustics
  • Characteristic lengthy scales
  • Wave number representation
  • Interaction of sound with structures.

Transducer technology / array performance

  • Transducer materials
  • Sonar transducer construction and physical analysis
  • Transducer equivalent circuits and array performance analysis.

 Signal processing and displays

  • Digital signal processing
  • Time series and frequency spectra
  • Detection theory
  • Pulse design
  • Dynamic range and normalisation.

Target echo strength

  • Derivation of TES for a simple sphere
  • Experimental measurement of TES
  • TES experiments
  • Target Scattering Physics.

Acoustic beams and beamforming

  • Array directivity theory and approximations
  • Computational requirements for beamforming
  • Shading and adaptive beamforming
  • Beam coverage and bearing accuracy.

Sidescan and autonomous underwater vehicle sonars

  • Sidescan sonar characteristics and geometry
  • Synthetic aperture sonar
  • Bathymetric sonars
  • AUVs and their sonars.

Fundamentals of towed arrays

  • Array construction and performance
  • Left/right ambiguity
  • Beam shading, shape correction and range focusing.

Sonar target recognition

  • Acoustic and motion classification clues
  • Manual and automatic classification techniques
  • Passive, active and intercept sonar recognition.

The sonar equation

  • Pitfalls in the use of the sonar equation
  • Theory and practice of sonar detection
  • Variability and degradation
  • Synthetic acoustic environments.

Radiated noise

  • Submarine noise sources
  • Acoustic signature reduction
  • Modelling structural response
  • Cavitation
  • Acoustic Radiation


  • Propagation loss
  • Simple spherical spreading mathematics
  • Propagation paths
  • Shadow zones
  • Propagation modelling

Fees and funding

The course fee is: £810 per delegate.

With this type of course (ie. a short course) you will find that the cost of studying is already broken down into smaller, more manageable amounts (in comparison to a full degree, whether at postgraduate or undergraduate levels).

Additional funding help may sometimes be received from your employer given the relevance to your chosen career.

How to apply

If you have any further questions about the course, please email Norman Stock or call him on 01202 965575. 

​Alternatively, please contact our askBU Enquiry Service for more information.

Additional information