Contributions of the Harvard Underwater Sound Lab to the Development of Underwater Acoustics

date March 4, 2016
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Friday, March 4, 2016 4:00 p.m. in ETC 4.150

Dr. F. Michael Pestorius
Former Director
Applied Research Laboratories
The University of Texas at Austin

The Harvard Underwater Sound laboratory, or HUSL as it was known, was founded in June 1941 under the auspices of the year-old National Defense Research Council. It existed throughout World War II and formally closed on January 31, 1946. HUSL was directed throughout its existence by Prof. Frederick V. Hunt. This presentation traces several of the seminal contributions that HUSL made to undersea warfare through exploitation of underwater acoustics. Chief among these contributions was HUSL’s work in sonar and ordnance development. Both the sonar and torpedo projects were supported by numerous subprojects on a wide range of applications that sound familiar today such as reverberation suppression, Doppler enhancement and torpedo transducer design. Particular attention in this presentation is given to work on air-dropped and submarine launched acoustic homing torpedoes. HUSL’s far-reaching influence continues to be evident in sonar and torpedo systems in use today. This presentation also honors the contributions of living HUSL alumnus, Prof. Wilson Nolle, who came to HUSL from the University of Texas and worked there throughout the war.