Various sources of noise, like combustion engines, gearboxes, hydraulic pumps and propellers, can cause high levels of noise in and around ships. Noise control is thus important to boosting the comfort of passengers and crew and reducing the nuisance to the surroundings - both above and below water - as well as the vulnerability of the ship to underwater weapons with acoustic sensors.

TNO has more than fifty years' experience in ship acoustics. Both the Netherlands Royal Navy and the shipbuilding industry and its suppliers use the knowledge and expertise that TNO has gained within its research programmes supported by government, ship owners and shipyards. The organisation has a broad package of analytical, numerical and experimental tools. The knowledge and expertise are used for, among other things, the control of underwater acoustic signatures. Weapons, like sea mines and torpedoes use underwater sensors to detect, classify and localise their targets. Control over the underwater acoustic signatures makes it more difficult for an adversary top successfully employ these weapons.

Due to the increased concern about the disturbance of marine life by the underwater noise of ships, this topic has become increasingly important for the commercial shipping industry. TNO offers consultancy and research activities aimed at a cost-effective control of the acoustic signature.

Our work

Platform signatures

The signature of a naval platform is crucial for both its operational performance and its survivability (including recoverability). Read more


Dr. ir. Christ de Jong

  • ship acoustics
  • underwater sound