Submarine Sonar Dept., Naval Undersea Warfare Center, New London, CT 06320
The U.S. Navy's newest and largest submarine bow sonar arrays recently underwent acoustic and vibration measurements at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) test facility at Seneca Lake, Dresden, New York. The Seawolf class bow assembly, a 150-ton full-scale front end for the Seawolf class submarine (SSN 21), was built by Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) and delivered to NUWC Seneca Lake via the New York State Canal System in May 1990. Upon the assembly's arrival at Seneca Lake, NUWC and NNS personnel made use of shore-based support facilities to convert the assembly into a test fixture. The test and evaluation of the Seawolf bow fixture (SBF) were performed at the NUWC systems measurement platform, which is a floating measurements laboratory stationed approximately at the middle of Seneca Lake. The SBF sonar arrays were tested at depths of up to 200 ft. The measurements included passive and active array acoustic calibrations, horizontal and vertical beam patterns, and vibration tests. A description of the NUWC Seneca Lake facilities that supported the test preparations, test configurations, and data collection is presented.