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Introduction to Sonar

  • Delivery:

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

See more course details.

Key information

Next start date:

16 September 2019, 20 April 2020


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 details

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

Fees and funding

The fee for this unit/short course: £548.00

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 Future Students Enquiry Service for more information.