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Current Developments in Underwater Acoustics Standards

There are a number of current developments within ISO TC43 SC3, which has four working groups actively developing standards.

WG1: Measurement of underwater sound from ships

Under the leadership of the USA, this working group is working to produce a series of standards related to the measurement of underwater noise from ships.  The Publically Available Specification published in 2012, “ISO/PAS 17208-1:2012 – Acoustics – Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater sound from ships – Part 1: General requirements for measurements in deep water,” has now been superseded by a published standard, “ISO 17208-1:2016 – Acoustics – Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater sound from ships – Part 1: Requirements for precision measurements in deep water used for comparison purposes.”

The Committee Draft ISO 17208-2 is currently being split into two parts, the first being ISO 17208-2, “Underwater acoustics - Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater noise from ships - Part 2.”  The second part intends to address primarily the determination of source level from deep water measurements.  The proposed title of the projected standard, ISO 17208-3, is “Underwater acoustics - Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater noise from ships - Part 3.”

WG2: Underwater acoustical terminology

Led by the Netherlands, WG2 has been developing a standard for terminology and definitions of quantities used in underwater acoustics.  The Final Draft International Standard is being prepared, with designation ISO 18405, “Underwater acoustics – Terminology.”

WG3: Measurement of radiated noise from marine pile driving

Led by the UK, WG3 is developing a standard for measurement of radiated noise from marine percussive pile driving.  The Draft International Standard ISO 18406, “Underwater acoustics — Measurement of radiated underwater sound from percussive pile driving,” is currently being modified and will be developed into a Final Draft International Standard for national balloting.

WG4: Standard-target method of calibrating active sonars

This WG began work in 2015 under leadership of the USA.  WG4 is developing a standard with the title “Underwater acoustics - Standard-target method of calibrating active sonars for imaging and measuring scattering,” with advance designation ISO 20073.