NIST Names NUWC Division Newport’s USRD Designated Institute

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport’s Underwater Sound Reference Division (USRD) has recently been named an official Designated Institute (DI) for “Acoustics: Sound in Water” by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

This will formally designate NUWC Division Newport’s Underwater Sound Reference Division as the NIST measurement facility for underwater metrology,” technical director Ron Vien said. “The team has been working on this for years, overcoming a number of technical hurdles in order to complete this initiative. This is a huge accomplishment. When we participate at international metrology standards meetings we represent the United States. This is great news.”

USRD branch head Dr. Victor Évora added: “I’m just so proud of the USRD team for all its efforts. It’s quite an accomplishment and, for sure, it was a team effort. This recognition is very significant. USRD has been a national asset in the area of underwater sound for many decades.”

Division Newport’s USRD is the first DI to be recognized by NIST, NUWC noted.

“The end result of this effort is that for the first time the United States has national measurement standards for sound in water. We haven’t had that before,” Dr. Steven Crocker, USRD chief metrologist, said. “We’ve made these kinds of measurements in water at USRD for 40 or 50 years, but the metrological foundation and the traceability that goes along with that for every other measurement in the country — voltage, mass, length — has never existed for sound in water. Now, it does.”

The NIST designation will provide more opportunities for collaboration between Division Newport, academia and industry.

This new designation also will help Division Newport achieve its goal of equipping the warfighters with the tools they need.

This directly has a positive impact on fleet sensors and sonar systems, next generation capabilities and everything that we do here for the Navy,Tony Paolero, head of Division Newport’s Undersea Sensors and Arrays Division, said. “Submarines and surface ship sensors and arrays that we acoustically characterize rely on testing that needs to be both accurate and precise to keep us competitive. This outstanding efforts by this team has gotten us to a level at which we need to be to expand the advantage.”

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