SURTASS LFASurveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active
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Acoustic scientists disagree as to what level of sound in air would be the equivalent of a 140 dB pulse from a SURTASS LFA array 300 nautical miles away, but most generally subtract 26 dB from underwater sound intensities to find equivalently loud sounds in air at sea level.
A] 60 dB difference represents a million-fold power difference; so, [sic] it can easily be seen how misleading it can be to try to compare underwater sound that a system like SURTASS LFA sonar makes with in-air sound that a jumbo jet makes.
Other SURTASS LFA tests have done damage to whales.
They decry the fact that the Navy's Draft OEIS/EIS claims SURTASS LFA poses no overwhelming threat to cetaceans or other wildlife, despite the fact that the Navy's tests included no long-term monitoring of animals in the test areas.
At the forefront of the Navy's environmental promises is a stated commitment to refrain from using SURTASS LFA in proximity to the coastlines of the world, where much of the oceans' known biological diversity lies.
Looking at these assurances, and at the map in the OEIS/EIS of SURTASS LFA Sonar Potential Operating Areas (see graphic), one could logically reach the conclusion that SURTASS LFA is intended for use in the open ocean, much as SOSUS was used to detect the Soviet submarines of a generation ago.
Despite the increasing noisiness of the world's oceans, an undisputed fact which the US Navy advances as justification for SURTASS LFA, marked advances in computing and remote sensing more than make up for any increased masking of submarine noise.
Of the many references to SURTASS LFA in defense trade publications throughout the 1990s, none -- zero -- have mentioned a use other than protecting US Navy ships as they enter the littoral waters of hostile foreign nations.