Pennsylvania State University engineers have developed a new way to simulate sonic-boom penetration into the ocean, then estimate how loud a noise the boom makes underwater, where it could annoy whales, fish, and other marine life. Called the finite difference method, the technique can compute the penetrating sonic boom noise for simple or complex ocean surfaces, corresponding to calm and rough seas. Using the technique, the researchers found that a somewhat complex wavy ocean surface only slightly augments the underwater noise from a sonic boom.
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