We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Acoustic Intelligence?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Acoustic intelligence, known as ACINT in military jargon, is intelligence gathered through analysis of auditory phenomena. The term is generally used specifically in reference to undersea intelligence gathered by submarines, sensors, and passing ships. ACINT has been used in military applications since the 1960s, and many nations have extremely well-developed acoustic intelligence programs.

This type of intelligence is part of a larger family of types of intelligence known as Measurement and Signals Intelligence (MASINT). MASINT involves the analysis of all sorts of data to gather information about a wide variety of situations and environments. In addition to acoustic intelligence, MASINT includes radar, infrared, laser, spectroscopic, and nuclear intelligence, among many others. People who work in this field may work in the field or in the lab, with lab workers using advanced scientific techniques to extract useful information from the data they gather.

Thanks to the common desire to be ahead of other countries, many militaries have highly advanced equipment at their disposal for use in ACINT research and development. Researchers in this field may also work on developing new techniques and equipment to ensure that they remain at the head of the pack.

This form of intelligence involves listening to the sea and categorizing the sounds which are heard. Experts in acoustic intelligence can differentiate between natural sounds, such as movements of the ocean floor and passing animals, and human-generated sounds like boats, submarines, and so forth. Acoustic intelligence also involves the study of how sounds move in the ocean, ranging from radar pings to the groaning of ship's hulls.

The body of knowledge accumulated in this field allows technicians to distinguish between different types of sounds when they work on board ships, filtering out the characteristic acoustic signatures of things which are viewed as non-threatening. Modern equipment can even perform this filtering automatically, allowing technicians to focus on more ambiguous noises which could be a source of concern. Acoustic intelligence is also used to monitor ocean health, with researchers listening for the sounds which define a region of the ocean, and reporting changes which suggest problems.

Oceans are noisy places. Passing creatures create cavitation waves which leave a distinctive signature, and they may also emit various sounds and generate noise as they eat, scrape along the ocean floor, and engage in various other activities. Oceans also generate noises of geologic origin, like rumbling from undersea volcanoes. Learning to distinguish these noises is important, as is learning to identify noises which do pose a threat, like the whispering engines of advanced submarines, or the sounds of incoming torpedoes.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Historical Index researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.