Richard S. Chwaszczewski
Naval Surface Warfare Ctr., Detachment Puget Sound, Bremerton, WA 98314-5215
US Navy submarines must operate undetected. A rigorous silencing program maintains their acoustic superiority. SEAFAC is the program's new West Coast measurement site in Behm Canal, near Ketchikan, AK. SEAFAC has three major elements. (1) At the Underway Site, signatures of a submerged submarine are measured as it travels back and forth between sensor arrays. (2) The Static Site is the nation's most unique measurement tool. Here, signatures are measured while the submarine is stationary and submerged. Suspension barges lower the submarine on cables and position it between sensor arrays. (3) The complex on Back Island is a self-sufficient acoustic laboratory and support facility that is capable of continuous 24-h operations with berthing and messing for several dozen people. An ideal location, state-of-the-art data analysis and signal processing systems, and a solid support structure make SEAFAC the Navy's premier acoustic measurement facility.