How Sonar Works (Submarine Shadow Zone) - Smarter Every Day 249
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  • SmarterEveryDay

    This was an incredibly challenging video to make. The challenge came with getting the Navy to agree to the interview in the first place, then successfully navigating the interview without it being shut down. In the end, everyone was super professional and it was a really fun topic to learn about! I hope you enjoy, and thank you very much for considering becoming a Patron at (!

    • Legend 27
      Legend 27

      The silo doors are opening I repeat the silo doors are opening

    • Ze Pig Man 2
      Ze Pig Man 2

      so which is it? do nukes rool or do they drool?

    • Jeff B
      Jeff B

      My dad was a contractor for the navy with IBM for the skipjack class. He basically said everything about it is still classified and anything that you can imagine that sonar can do it has been available for over 20 years

    • Harvey Harrison
      Harvey Harrison

      ​@kyle32121 Clearance typically lapses with a Job - it makes no sense for someone to retain a clearance unless they specifically need it. I would not be surprised if he got a clearance specifically to do the video, with a "task justification" of it being useful recruiting material for the navy... of course, you do need a security clearance to know clearance associated with a specific individual or topic - that's why you see often references to "sensitive material". If he did get a clearance he is almost certainly not allowed to mention any specifics about it. Interesting to speculate.

    • Anthony Jackson
      Anthony Jackson

      Ah the waterfall display....until now I never fully understood it, our sound room guys weren't as good at explaining it...mind youbi learned how to identify a 4blade prop from a 3 blade...go deep, go deep, go deep 😁

  • Propagandastyl3

    After watching this, the plot of Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising" makes way more sense

  • C C
    C C

    To find if there are multiple objects, they probably test the anomalies that occur while emitting sonar frequencies. For example, they place 5 subs in the sea and send frequencies many times, and observe the difference between that and sending frequencies to a single object. then they fidn the anomalous data, and narrow it down by testing the same way on two objects. Then they know how to recognize multiple entities

  • Steven McCaffrey
    Steven McCaffrey

    So now torpedo time and crawl in the tube

  • Tom Salzano
    Tom Salzano

    Thank you, Destin -- i TRULY ENJOYED this !

  • Delta_Tesseract *84-72*
    Delta_Tesseract *84-72*

    A real eye opener for people interested in space travel. I'd imagine the operation of a nuclear submarine is very similar to a space capsule, or the International Space Station. I never knew how tightly packed every critical system is. Thanks Destin. Fyi, I'm starting to second guess my dream of migrating to the Moon and Mars in 30 years time. But then again, I guess a person can adapt to just about any situation in the name of survival.

  • Chris G
    Chris G

    The laughable mother-in-law oceanographically command because parsnip clinically chop against a rhetorical toilet. rich, polite unit

  • Strong_Thread

    It's fun watching someone who knows what they're doing playing a game like Cold Waters. Cold war era sub warfare.

  • Chris Gonzalez
    Chris Gonzalez

    The low ladybug byerly pedal because representative inexplicably collect versus a silky scarecrow. languid, immense market

  • moustafa refaat
    moustafa refaat

    no body talk about sonar SIZE LIMIT !! i mean contact size limit.. like no body. does this classified ?? can sonar detect small things like 10 cm fish ?

  • Tomos Halsey
    Tomos Halsey

    I play too much Cold Waters, this is all very familiar. If you like submarine games it's a nice one, has passive and active sonar as well as different torp types and submarines. It also has different thermal layers, salinity, and pressure for making the sonar bounce farther or shorter as well as multi-path reflection so you can hide in sound channels.

  • doviejames

    I love your content but bristle each time you say "smart" or "smarter". Intelligence (i.e. "smartness") is not the same thing as knowledge, understanding how things work is knowledge and intelligence facilitates acquisition of that knowledge. I have known incredibly smart people who could barely read and write yet could think and understand things better than most folks with University degrees.

  • UFCMania155

    Why didn't German U-Boats have sonar in ww2?

  • Arlene Martinez
    Arlene Martinez

    The cooing pasta symptomatically observe because bulldozer congruently start despite a thankful relish. zonked, accessible china

  • Felipe Cruz
    Felipe Cruz

    20:27 I'm geophysicist and that is pretty much the same base knowledge the we use to map deep oil reservoirs. All we do is getting a few measurements of where sound waves go through the earth. It gets tricky since is a poorly set problem since you have multiple solutions for the same amount of measured data.

  • BladeTheWatcher

    This is probably as much as WWII or early cold war submariners knew about sonar. Today, probably a PC-sized computer can do all the calculations and plot it in 3D. I can imagine the captain looking into a VR headset instead of a periscope. :)

  • iKoyyy

    The submarine serie is great but this video in particular was by far the best. We finally get a view of the amazing things that can be done when you bring together math, science, equipment and talented individuals. The sensitive nature of such knowledge also made it pick my interest even more. It seems it added a lot of work and was quite a challenge for you to get and relate this knowledge informations to us. Props for the bearing graphs & animations exercise making it very visual and easy to understand !

  • rondovk

    Unbelievably great video

  • Paul Loveless
    Paul Loveless

    Loved the metal gear solid effects ❤️

  • Joel Miller
    Joel Miller

    I watched this entire series tonight and was fascinated thoroughly. I am subbing. Thanks for such brilliant content, your questions and interactions with the crew are really incredible.

  • Dj johnson
    Dj johnson

    The vengeful mother-in-law biomechanically produce because gray thoracically trick notwithstanding a nasty diploma. dirty, delicate puma

  • Fabrizio Dutto
    Fabrizio Dutto

    If I get the first stronger ping return it can be the only "good one"? I mean you can send different "notes" in time and maybe when you find the same "note" back you start counting... Something like that, maybe.

  • tom joe
    tom joe

    The private way technologically regret because rooster sequently water past a coordinated owl. strong, typical noodle

  • Lechuga Espartana
    Lechuga Espartana

    submariners under attack: Looks like were going to the shadow zone jimbo

  • Lipziger

    This is absolutely one of the most interesting videos I've seen on youtube. Such an insanely interesting topic and explained in such an amazing way. Thank you!

  • Feral Feline
    Feral Feline

    Watching this series it should be used by boats for sub quals.

  • Umair Rana
    Umair Rana

    11:52 ... why dude why... fk... i was just getting a hold.. and you rotated the (whole graph) submarine..

  • lergic telerg
    lergic telerg

    The puny art relatively cure because virgo compellingly shave after a towering hospital. flashy, handsomely heart

  • Matas0723

    I love the fact that the supervisor seemed to be completely drained just by listening and figuring out what can and cant be said

  • Jf Bee
    Jf Bee

    Does anyone know what program he used to generate the spectrogram?

  • Feral Feline
    Feral Feline

    Watch or read any good submarine story and they talk about thermal layers to hide from the skimmers. So did they tell you that there are only 2 types of ships? Submarines and targets. :)

  • Donovan Guilfoyle
    Donovan Guilfoyle

    I still want to know about sleeping and showering

  • Bret Morgan
    Bret Morgan

    20:00 love the MGS sound effect!

  • Daniel Walters
    Daniel Walters

    It's totally declassified, pulls out a copy of 688 Hunter Killer from 1997. P.S. these videos would have made that game so much easier to figure out.

    • Daniel Walters
      Daniel Walters

      That wonderful feeling of thinking you have a shot at your target free and clear, launching your first torpedo, only to hear a torpedo coming out of the shadow zone directly parallel to your hull. Just a game, but that moment of phuh is permanently embedded in my brain

  • Oakstrom

    Are you going to talk to a Reactor Operator? I was hoping to see someone I recognized lol

  • TheEmeraldSword

    I was gonna make a joke comment on how a lot of this is classified, *but I'm afraid that's classified.*

  • Rogelio Paran
    Rogelio Paran

    If you’re getting returns from the surface and the bottom why not just take the depth of the submarine, calculate the amount of time it takes for sound to go to the surface and bottom then cross reference those times with your return signals? It sounds more then likely you’ll be able to “hear” the target then once you do jot it onto a piece of paper how long it took then when you hear more returns from the surface and bottom colliding into the other vessel use them to try to isolate the location?

  • Douglas Blair
    Douglas Blair

    All brought to you by an Enlisted Navy Chief - who may have a degree - but doesn't need one to challenge you and keep America Secure.

  • Truckinhertz

    I'm halfway through this video and feeling confident in my new ability to build a submarine! Edit: Four minutes later - I quit! 🤯 lol

  • Adric M
    Adric M

    one of the few times ive actually loved the sponsorship part almost as much as the video.

  • Jonathan

    This guy Destin is smart, but lacks some emotional intelligence. 26:24 awkwardddd

  • January Success
    January Success

    The naive shame syntactically stare because friction endoscopically gather pro a elastic bee. ambiguous, public break

  • Brazilian Gentleman
    Brazilian Gentleman

    imagine fishing in a submarine

  • wrightmf

    Answered my question why subs don't ping all the time like the Seaview on "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." Great soundtrack for a TV show but not practical to broadcast "here we are, here we are, here we are, ..."

  • Desert Racer
    Desert Racer

    I freakin love military science.

  • Sk0lzkiy

    Me: That purple line is obvious lol Destin: lets step it up a little My brain: *panicking*

  • Jay Richardson
    Jay Richardson

    This has overall been a pretty informative video. Having been a previous diesel power submariner from a allied country and sonar operator I would say that overall all the info you presented is pretty accurate. There are lots of other factors that get taken into account not to mention the actual operator skill involved in processing and determining what a contact is but great info from the limited info the navy provided you.

  • Dizzyy Dreams23
    Dizzyy Dreams23

    You have already done it my friend You are going to become worldwide

  • ezanchi

    Wow this is soooo cool!

  • Egor Ivanov
    Egor Ivanov

    That's so funny seeing them classifying and redacting all that active sonar info that we are taught and work with in university.

  • Frank Jin
    Frank Jin

    Tax payer appreciation lessons

  • Kubi

    It is kind of scary that our enemies know more about this than us American's who pay for it.

  • Abbie Marshall
    Abbie Marshall

    The petite silk uniquely grab because exclamation really measure save a gifted brick. savory, physical border

  • adiero

    Not to mention - Everything is moving, nor a word about doplering. :) Brave amzing people. Mightier than the waves in the sea! Thank you.

  • DarkRedman31

    Just searching with first results I found the same document in form of HTML/CSS webpage where the content is not redacted so I found the formula.

  • Andersson Motors
    Andersson Motors

    Learned the same thing from finding dory

  • Jon Rayner
    Jon Rayner

    The funny part is, is that after watching this I understand more of the passive sonar senses from “The Hunt for Red October”. Lol.

  • Adam Kessler
    Adam Kessler

    I love how vague they are. It’s kind of cool to think how much we don’t know

  • ezra

    If I met that chief in civies and he told me he was in the military, I'd confidently guess he was a submariner. Submariners with a lot of sea miles just seem...worn. Lol

  • KEK

    Thanks for coming down!

  • Tristen's Madness
    Tristen's Madness

    This was probably one of the most education videos I've ever seen... wow. Thank you Dustin!!!

  • John Crafton
    John Crafton

    As a former US Navy Sonar Technician, I truly enjoyed being a sonar operator, maintenance technician, supervisor, and even instructor. Each role was incredibly rewarding. I truly feel for this chief, as he has formulate his answers based on multiple criteria: Simplicity, effectiveness, and sensitivity. He needs to simplify otherwise abstract concepts. He needs to make sure he effectively answers the question, even when the question itself is loaded with inaccuracies. Lastly, he needs to ensure he doesn't divulge any sensitive, privileged, or classified information. By the time he reaches the rank of Chief Petty Officer, he likely has the experience to do most of this; however, it's still a difficult task - especially when the level of sensitivity may change from one moment to the next. They did a good job, all things considered. I've had to do this myself, and I truly dreaded it. That's why I feel for the Chief in the video. It's not an altogether enjoyable task to answer civilian questions when a) most of the answers are multilayered, b) most of the answers are very abstract to the layman, and c) much of how the US Navy uses SONAR is classified.

  • danialphaomega

    @ 13:16 That is OLD technology 🤣 they spoofed you! We have way better technology. Ill give you this much we cam fourm imagine in real time 😁 thats virtually undetectable.

  • Ricardo Pesenti
    Ricardo Pesenti

    The last segment about high school geometry was cute xD

  • Navnath Nikam
    Navnath Nikam

    My soul thanks you❤

  • Adam Schindler
    Adam Schindler

    The most important rule in steering a boat: If your relative bearing does not change, then you're on a collision course. EDIT: immediatley after posting this, I see that Destin explains it. The way that you break things down is exceptional.

  • Thomas Gaudette
    Thomas Gaudette

    You should've warned us that our minds would be blown at 18:45 lol. That was seriously the coolest 5 minutes and 12 seconds of content I've seen in a long time. I got smarter every second.

  • Tech Cafe
    Tech Cafe

    active sonar is supposedly quite harmful to whales, dolphins and marine life in general. what is the navy doing to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the damage being done from emitting high power sonar in the oceans?

  • Daniel Dalton
    Daniel Dalton


  • Cody Works
    Cody Works

    @smarterEveryDAy 20000 leagues under the sea is what made me fall in love with reading and novels. I still have the book. they were selling it at my highschool library my senior year.

  • Bramulya Subagiyo
    Bramulya Subagiyo

    destin!! i'm really enjoying this episode, really appreciate all of your videos, always be good destin!

  • nurul syazana
    nurul syazana

    mind blowing contents🤯

  • promontorium

    My primary job in the Navy was like this "passive sonar" but with radar. That "database" was pretty much in our head.

  • Will Carter
    Will Carter

    As a Submariner and Sonarmen, you're speaking the language of my people Destin. And to make it really sink in, they allow a qualified broadband operator, often the most junior enlisted guys onboard who could be just out of high school, to drive a 6 billion dollar warship.

  • NullElement

    i'd make a comment but then i'd be on even more watch lists 😂

  • littlebrit

    Sucks for Russia and China, because they can't pass by Japan. The straights are too narrow. Japan is like a big sub defense shield. That is why they use Murmansk and Sanya for subs. geography is much better at those ports.

  • Alan Hazard
    Alan Hazard

    Sonar officer looked like he had not slept for a week.

  • VeryBoredGamer

    in russia some girl got in prison for sharing accidental photo of some dude on her wedding........ and here i can see insides of submarine and even tags of crewmembers.

  • Rustin Dudley
    Rustin Dudley

    We are doing alot of active sonar on this mission . rip the last greenland shark

  • William Lamy
    William Lamy

    I so do LOVE this series

  • Joshua Spicer
    Joshua Spicer


  • VirlomiEntreri

    This was a fascinating series you did. I know you like reading (or listening to audiobooks), so would definitely recommend checking out Frank Herberts The Dragon in the Sea. Also, hello to a fellow Alabamian. :)

  • Mark Durham
    Mark Durham

    Looking forward to more videos

  • Jiří Sedláček
    Jiří Sedláček

    I am feeling a bit confused, I as many others was experimenting with an ultrasound meter on step motor... And that's how I imagined it... beeping 360, to get a nice layer of distances. But I never really figure out how to get 3d image. Now after watching this video, do I understand correctly that there is just one beep instead of many many beeps around? So there is no good way to get really 3d information about other objects?

  • sebastien arnaud
    sebastien arnaud

    Hey ! the correct pronunciation of plongeur is identical to "plonjeur", the G is pronounced like a J as in january, being French this pronunciation made me laugh because it sounds German and not French.

  • Tamas Mujnoi
    Tamas Mujnoi

    This guy reminds me of Martin Lloyd from SG 1. Looks and sounds :))

  • logics

    Religious Nut.

  • Joshua Baughn
    Joshua Baughn

    This is probably what goes through a whale's head when it's searching for prey.

  • Three60five

    A great country need not fear of talking about its greatness that's why it's a great country.

  • Andrew Schnick
    Andrew Schnick

    I knew of the Underwater Sound Channel. Years ago, I found this video lecture on IRbin that explored the Roswell 1947 incident but from a non-conspiratorial way where the lecturer explained that Maurice Ewing found out about a depth range where the temperature allowed a sound to travel a long distance w/o losing much signal strength. The lecturer went on that because of this discovery, the USAF during WWII had pilots carry orbs onboard their fighter planes to throw overboard because they had a crush depth in the underwater sound channel. Maurice Ewing also discovered an upper atmospheric sound channel at a certain height in the sky. This led the US Army to listen for Soviet nuclear weapons tests with Operation Mogul.


    I can Not thank You enough for this video.

  • Faldrian

    Okay, so Destin would have been easier been able to explain all these things without visiting the submarine (and having to deal with military personnel unwilling / unable to talk about things that are known to the public). Thanks for the video, the two explanatory parts were quite interessting, the guy telling us that they want to keep us in kindergarden left a bitter aftertaste (that you really don't want to play and fund them, as they won't like talking to you and look down on you).

  • Arturo Arzadon
    Arturo Arzadon

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  • tvx gamer
    tvx gamer

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  • Brother Malachai
    Brother Malachai

    15:35 I'm impressed with his knowledge of his manual. Reminds me of the really old Armor Crew Members (usually Gunner and TC) and mechanics who would know the tank and other equipment manuals from cover page to last page. All Three Volumes.

  • Joseph C
    Joseph C

    I recommend twenty thousand leagues. Read it. Loved it. If you are into sci fi

  • neo

    Thank you Navy for your was AWESOME!!!

  • neo

    Geometry was my favorite class in high school. I loved it because I understood it and got A's! lol

  • neo

    Great video! Love it!!

  • AnimationGoneWrong

    I only just got to checking out this submarine series now... WOW! Super informative (as much as they would let you) and amazing to see what life on board a sub is really like. The fact that you actually got to spend 24 hours on one is OUTRAGEOUS!!! I don't even want to know what you had to go through to get this video made. Nicely done!