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  U.S. Navy Museum Cold War Gallery Covert Submarine Operations
Sonar Room

Submarines operate in a unique environment. Submariners cannot see beyond their steel walls and, unlike surface ship and airplane crews, cannot readily communicate with the outside world. Submariners must rely on sounds detected by sonar to learn about their surroundings. Highly trained crew members interpret these sounds with the help of computers.
 
 

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Virtual Walkthrough
Sonar Sounds

Sonar Sounds

Click the images below to hear sonar sounds of familiar items found in the ocean.

 
 
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Educational Videos

play videoGraphic Display of Sound:  This sample of the visual display of underwater sound is part of the Covert Submarine Operations Exhibit, located in the Cold War Gallery, Washington Navy Yard.

play videoSonar: "The Submariners" (1967):  This segment from the 1967 Navy documentary "The Submariners" explains the basics behind the use of sonar. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, UMO-41.

play videoIndependent Variable Depth Sonar (1971):  The basic technology and concepts behind sonar are explained in this 1971 Navy training film, which was used to train operators of the towed array's hoist mechanism. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section UMO-11.
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