CNR-INM | Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche | Istituto di Ingegneria del Mare
+39 06 50299 222

Underwater acoustics laboratory (UAL)


The laboratory is located in a standalone building within the CNR Roma Tor Vergata Research Area. It includes a 6 m x 4 m x 5.5 m deep water tank equipped with a motorized positioning system allowing X-Y motion and rotation on two independent carriages, with 100 kg load capability. Two windows are provided on one side for optical measurements including laser vibrometry.
Test and measurements (receive/transmit sensitivity, directivity, impedance) on hydrophones, arrays and transducers can be performed in free-field conditions in the main indoor tank for frequencies ranging from about 1 kHz to about 500 kHz, depending on the device under test. For higher frequencies up to 5 MHz a series of piezo transducers, miniature hydrophones, and smaller tanks with size between 0.5 m and 1 m are also available. Measurements for lower frequencies from about 100 Hz up to 20 kHz can be arranged in the outdoor maneuvering basin of Lake Nemi.
Calibrated hydrophones are maintained in the frequency range from 1 kHz to 500 kHz. External devices such as hydrophones and autonomous recorders can be calibrated in the frequency range from 100 Hz to 500 kHz using free-field international standard methods (comparison and reciprocity) with uncertainties between 0.8 dB and 1.5 dB depending on method and frequency.
UAL staff has been active in underwater acoustic metrology since the mid ‘90s, offering test and calibration services and participating in laboratory intercomparisons as well as in EURAMET technical committee on underwater acoustics. From 2007 to 2010 the UAL has been accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 standard as a hydrophone calibration centre. From 2016 to 2019 the UAL participated in EMPIR 15RPT02 UNAC-LOW metrology research European project with other 5 national metrology institutes and agencies for the development of low-frequency calibration standards for hydrophones and autonomous recorders.
Since 2021 UAL staff is involved in regional Project “TIMIDRAM” (POR FESR Lazio – project n. A0375-2020-36598), together with partner ISPRA, for the implementation of calibration setups for hydrophones and autonomous recorders in the frequency range of interest for low-frequency continuous underwater noise as defined by descriptor D11 of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
UAL building
UAL water tank

Main characteristics

Main water tank size6 m (length) x 4 m (width) x 5.5 m (depth)
Test and measurement frequency range100 Hz – 20 kHz (outdoor site)
1 kHz – 500 kHz (main tank)
500 kHz – 5 MHz (smaller tanks)
Calibration frequency range 100 Hz – 20 kHz (outdoor site)
3 kHz – 500 kHz (main tank)

Contact information

Point of contact Silvano Buogo
+39 06 45488 058


Rome ARTOVVia del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy