National Physical Laboratory

NPL has state-of-the-art underwater acoustic test facilities for hydrophones and projectors in the frequency range between 250 Hz to 1 MHz, including two laboratory tanks, an Acoustics Pressure Vessel (APV), and an open-water test facility. The hydrophone pressure calibration is also realised in the range 5 Hz to 315 Hz. All calibrations are validated via CCAUV Key Comparisons and are accredited to ISO 17025. NPL’s rich science portfolio in underwater acoustics further includes developing novel methods for calibration of sonars and hydrophones, as well as calibration and testing of transducers and materials at simulated ocean conditions (equivalent to 700 m depth and in range 2 ºC to 35 ºC). Other expertse and capabilities include calibration of autonomous noise recorders (including free-field calibrations), a capability for numerical modelling of transducers and sound fields using FE/BE methods, and acoustic propagation using a variety of models (PE, normal mode, ray tracing, image source, energy flux, wavenumber integration). NPL’s scientific research portfolio further includes in situ underwater noise measurement and sound source characterisation. The NPL staff are highly active in ISO and IEC standardisation, acting as a convenor for IEC TC87 WG15 (Underwater acoustics) and ISO TC43 SC3 WG3 (Measurement of underwater noise radiated by marine pile driving). NPL contributes to ISO TC43 SC3 WG1, WG2 and WG4, and is a member of the EU Technical Group on (underwater) Noise (TG Noise) which advises the EU.


Stephen Robinson has broad-ranging expertise in the field of underwater acoustics, including theoretical studies, laboratory and field experiments, and data analysis. He has over 100 publications to his name, and is an active member of the Institute of Acoustics, a scientific member of EU TG Noise, and serves on multiple national and international standards committees (BSI, ISO, IEC).

Gary Hayman has over 25 years experience in underwater acoustic metrology. Gary is experienced in writing bespoke software for data acquisition and analysis using a variety of recording systems. His current research interests include calibration techniques for hydrophones, autonomous recorders and sonar, and materials acoustic characterisation (inc. simulated ocean conditions).

Tanja Pangerc has over 10 years experience in the field of underwater acoustics in both academic and commercial environment. Her wide-ranging research interests concern all aspects of acoustics, with particular focus on measurement requirements for underwater anthropogenic noise.