Introduction to Sonar

Book your place

The sonar course aims to provide you with a good understanding of the theory and practice of sonar technology, and its applications in the defence industry, environmental surveying and related fields; placing emphasis on the practicalities of sonar systems rather than on rigorous mathematical analysis.

This course is ideal if you require a rapid introduction to 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

To register your interest and be notified when the course dates are confirmed, please contact [email protected].

Key information

Next start date:

5th and 6th September 2022


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


2 days

Entry requirements:

No previous experience is necessary, but a knowledge of basic mathematics (equations and simple trigonometry) would be beneficial

Course content

This course covers the following content:


  • History of sonar
  • Active and passive sonar
  • The sonar environment

Acoustic waves

  • Wave motion
  • Doppler effect
  • Understanding and manipulating decibels
  • Simple spreading loss
  • Wave synthesis and analysis

Transducers and arrays

  • Piezo-electric materials
  • Hydrophones
  • Transducer types
  • Beamforming, shading and steering

Noise and reverberation

  • Noise sources and spectra
  • Self and ambient noise
  • Reverberation

Acoustic propagation

  • Absorption
  • Sound velocity profile
  • Effect of boundaries
  • Refraction and ray diagrams

Signal processing and displays

  • Processing systems for broadband passive, narrowband passive and active sonars
  • Format of operational sonar displays
  • Passive ranging

The sonar equation

  • Sonar parameters
  • Target strength
  • Active Sonar equation
  • Passive Sonar equation

Sonar system design

  • How requirements and platforms influence sonar design
  • Military sonar system design including ASW, weapon and mine hunting sonars
  • Commercial sonar design including survey, fish finding and AUV sonars

How to apply

We are now able to take bookings for this course, so please book your place via our Eventbrite registration form.

If you have any further questions about the course, please email: [email protected].

Terms and conditions including cancellations

All cancellations must be received in writing and sent to the address stated above. If you cancel by giving us 14 days or more notice before the course starts, you will receive a refund of your course fee, less an administration fee of 20% of that course fee. If you cancel less than 14 days before the course starts the full course fee will be charged. A substitute delegate can be named at any time before the course starts with no additional charge. Course fees must be received within 28 days of booking or 14 days before the course starts, whichever is earlier. Bookings are not considered confirmed until payment has been received in full.

It may be necessary for reasons beyond Bournemouth University’s control, including in response to any UK Government legislation, rules, regulations and/or guidance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID Rules”) to change the content, timing, delivering staff, the date and/or the venue of the course. Any such changes will, as far as is possible and reasonable, be notified to you in advance, but whether notified or not, Bournemouth University accepts no liability in respect of any changes. Insofar as any COVID Rules are in force at the time of the course, Bournemouth University will put in place all appropriate cleansing, social distancing and other measures and it will be your responsibility to adhere to these measures for the duration of the course.   

In the unlikely event of course cancellation by Bournemouth University, you will automatically receive a full refund of the course fee but Bournemouth University disclaims any further liability. For this reason you are advised not to book travel or accommodation more than two weeks before the start of the course. 

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