Illustration from Nishimura and Conlon, 1994, provided by
Clyde Nishimura, Naval Research Laboratory.
SOund SUrveillance System, or SOSUS, is
a fixed component of the U.S. Navy's Integrated Undersea Surveillance
Systems (IUSS) network used for deep ocean surveillance during
the Cold War. Installation of SOSUS was begun in the mid 1950s
by the U.S. Navy for use in antisubmarine warfare. A brief history
of the development of SOSUS can be found
here. SOSUS consists of bottom mounted hydrophone arrays
connected by undersea communication cables to facilities on
shore. The individual arrays are installed primarily on continental
slopes and seamounts at locations optimized for undistorted
long range acoustic propagation. The combination of location
within the oceanic sound channel and the sensitivity of large-aperture
arrays allows the system to detect radiated acoustic power of
less than a watt at ranges of several hundred kilometers.