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Book Cover
Author Hackmann, Willem Dirk, author

Title Seek & strike : sonar, anti-submarine warfare, and the Royal Navy, 1914-54 / Willem Hackmann
Published London : H.M.S.O., 1984
London : Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1984


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xxxv, 487 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (black and white) ; 26 cm
Contents Preface -- Introduction -- I. Underwater acoustics before the first world war -- The emergence of an experimental science -- Underwater acoustics as an aid to navigation -- Early attempts to detect submarines by the Royal Navy -- II. Organizing science for the war at sea -- How should science be harnessed to the war effort? -- The Board of Invention and Research : triumphs and tribulations -- The dissolution of the BIR -- The Holland-Skinner report -- Research at other establishments -- The armistice -- British technical co-operation with France and America -- III. Acoustics at war : the development of the hydrophone -- Ryan's hydrophones : shore-based and ship-borne -- Hydrophone research at the BIR -- The portable directional hydrophone -- Hydrophone research by the Americans : the birth of the multiple hydrophone array -- Towed hydrophones -- German hydrophones -- Hydrophones against the U-boat -- IV. The birth of asdics -- Early echo-ranging experiments at the Admiralty -- The investigations of Langevin and Chilowsky in France -- Asdics -- Underwater ultrasonic experiments in America -- V. Naval research establishments and asdic strategy 1919-1939 -- Towards a centralized naval scientific service -- Admiralty Experimental Station, Shandon 1918-1921 -- HM Signal and Mining Schools at Portsmouth 1919-1927 -- Admiralty Research Laboratory, Teddington 1921-1927 -- Developing a career structure -- Streamlining the scientific service : Portland and ARL -- B.S. Smith's conflict with the navy on the nature of scientific research -- Asdics and the submarine : policy and tactics -- Organizing underwater ultrasonic research in America -- VI. Inter-war asdic research, pure and applied -- Sea research -- Ambient and ship-produced noises -- Reverberation -- Transducer research -- Magnetostriction -- VII. The development of the asdic transducer, dome, recorder and a/s training aids -- The standard quartz transducer -- Asdic domes -- Asdic recorders -- Anti-submarine training aids -- VIII. Ship-fitted asdic sets in the inter-war years -- Active echo-ranging versus passive listening -- The asdic sets -- IX. The Admiralty echo sounders -- Early developments -- Echo-sounding experiments at Shandon and at the ARL -- Piezoelectricity and the ultrasonic echo sounder -- The Admiralty magnetostriction echo sounder -- X. Asdics in World War II : organization -- The U-boat war -- Mobilizing the Royal Navy for A/S warfare research -- The American wartime sonar R&D organization -- Anglo-American wartime technical co-operation -- XI. Asdics in World War II : technology -- Wartime asdic sets -- Depth-determining asdics -- Wartime sonar developments in America -- Wartime sonar developments by the Axis powers -- XII. Asdics in World War II : measures and countermeasures -- The development of A/S weapons -- Wartime homing weapons -- Acoustic countermeasures -- XIII. Organizing sonar R&D for the post-war years -- Naval science and the arms race -- Reorganizing naval science -- The return to Portland and expansion of RNSS -- The involvement of industry in sonar R&D -- XIV. Sonar development and the nuclear submarine : the dawn of a new era -- The three phases of post-war sonar development -- The first phase, 1945-49 -- The second phase, 1950-55 -- Mine detection -- Scanning sonar -- "Split-beam" sonar -- Sector-scan sonar -- "Dunking" sonar and the VDS -- Submarine sonars -- The third phase : the birth of 'Nautilus' -- Appendices -- 1. Development of sonar : the evolution of R&D establishments 1900-1972 -- 2. Development of the main Royal Navy ship-borne sonar sets 1918-1960 -- 3. Royal Navy sonar recorders 1918-1960 -- 4. Royal Navy sonar domes 1918-1960 -- 5. Main ship-borne sets used by the Royal Navy between 1918-1960
Summary "This is the first history of the Royal Navy's part in research in underwater acoustics. Between 1914 and 1954 the submarine evolved into an underwater warship whose most dangerous weapon was its ability to hide in a mass of water. Of the many techniques that were tried to deprive it of that advantage, those based on sonar have been the most effective. At the beginning of the First World War, the British Navy had almost no means of tackling the danger of German U-boats. The use of hydrophones - underwater microphones - proved of limited value, and in 1917 work began on the development of an "active" detection device. This was based on French research into the capacity of certain crystals to act as transmitters and receivers of high-frequency sound waves. These move about four times faster through water than through air, but their exact speed varies with temperature, pressure and salinity - and, as scientists discovered, these differ considerably in different parts of the oceans. Another complication is that as sound travels away from whatever has produced it, its energy diminishes. As a result of this, and of the distortion caused by reflection from both surface and sea bed, the echo from a target has only a fraction of the energy of the transmitted sound impulse. In the mid 1920s experiments were begun with magnetostrictive transducers, first used in the British Navy's attack sonar sets after the Second World War. They in turn have, for certain purposes, been replaced by electrostrictive ceramic transducers. In 1919 the average echo range was about 457m (500 yds); in the Second World War it was about 1.2km (1300 yds); at the end of this history it had increased to several miles. This book, through careful research, has brought together in a clear and absorbing way the different aspects of British naval development: the impact of tactical and strategic needs on that development; the evolution of sonar; and the transformation of small-scale technical research into a complex organisation involving government and industry." -- back of book
Notes Includes index
Bibliography Includes bibliography: pages [441]-467 and index
Subject Great Britain. Royal Navy -- History -- 20th century.
Anti-submarine warfare -- Great Britain -- History.
Anti-submarine warfare.
Sonar -- History.
Sonar -- Research -- History.
Submarine warfare -- Technological innovations -- History.
Underwater acoustics -- Research -- History.
Author Science Museum (Great Britain)
LC no. 85123197
ISBN 0112904238
Other Titles Seek and strike : sonar, anti-submarine warfare, and the Royal Navy, 1914-54
Seek and strike