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Title: Guidelines for Noise and Vibration of High Speed Patrol Craft

Author: Darrell Milburn, INCE Bd. Cert. PE, CDR USCG (Ret),

Abstract: Operational requirements place extreme demands for high speed patrol craft, on the hull, systems, and embarked personnel. Requirements for high speed and light weight can lead to excessive noise and vibration. Excessive exterior noise is associated with insufficient stealth for sorties to locales having quiet ambient conditions. Too loud onboard interferes with mission critical voice and audible signal communication, is adverse to crew endurance, and increases risks of permanent hearing loss. Excessive vibrations cause difficulty in manipulating controls, especially touch screens, track balls, and others needing fine adjustment for targeting, navigation, or interface. Excessive vibration is also adverse to crew fatigue, structural fatigue, and possibly damaging for installed equipment. Shock and impact accelerations are integral to fast patrol craft in coastal and offshore operations, so shock mitigation must be coordinated with the other aspects of high speed craft hull and machinery noise which are the main focus of the paper.

Currently there are no unified guidelines for noise and vibration aspects of fast patrol craft. This void affects specification writers, designers, builders, maintainers, and ultimately the persons performing the missions. The paper is based on lessons learned from a career including operational experience; developmental, technical, and operational testing work; sector level maintenance management; and most recently consulting support for builders and operators related to noise and vibration diagnostics and design, covering Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard fast patrol craft. The paper outlines a framework for a fast craft noise and vibration guide, including practical treatments, constraints on optimization, general approach for preliminary design, and cautions for potential problem areas to be avoided.