Page 28 - Volume 8, Issue 1 Winter 2013
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                                         ter noise, the need for such a standard came from the author’s involvement in design, construction and testing of quiet research vessels starting around 2001. Europe had been building such quiet ships since 1995. Efforts got started in the U.S. with the design and construction of a new class of quiet fisheries research vessels for the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The first of the Class, the OSCAR DYSON was put into service around 2004. Since then three more vessels were put into service with many more quiet ships on the way.
Without a standard, the only way to get an accurate measure of a ship’s underwater noise was to go to a naval facility. Since World War II the field of underwater acoustics has been the sole concern of the navies of the world, who have used this special knowledge to hide their submarines while in the hunt for enemy combatants. In the United States, this need resulted in the establishment of numerous ocean range facilities for measurement of underwater noise. Unfortunately, both U.S. and Canadian facilities are located in the corners of North America. Figure 2 shows the location of the major U.S. and Canadian facilities for measurement of underwater noise. These facilities are available for “private party” work, but at significant cost for facility usage and trav- el expenses for both fuel and manpower to crew ships to trav- el to one of the four corners. This works for the Navy, but it is not economically feasible for industry. Hopefully, the ANSI standard solved this problem by offering uniform methodol- ogy that did not require a “fixed range facility.”
In the author’s opinion the rest of the world has the same problem. The first underwater noise Working Group within the ASA had a large international participation, mostly from Europe. Low-noise ships are being designed and built in many of the continents, particularly Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. Balloting of the proposed work to create an ISO standard was met with broad interest. To be approved, the proposal must be accepted by a simple majori- ty of the voters of the committee and only five member bod- ies (i.e., countries) need to agree to participate in the devel- opment of a new standard. Nine countries elected to partici- pate in this one, with two additional countries signing on after work had commenced.
 The ISO version of an underwater noise standard began at a meeting in London in April 2011. The first meeting was attended by nine participants representing Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom and the USA. Thus, Working Group 55 under Sub-Committee 1 (noise) which is part of Technical Committee 43 (acoustics) was formed. The shorthand designation is TC 43/SC 1/WG 55. Since the first meeting, WG 55 has become a “United Nations” representation with members from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, United Kingdom, and the USA. There are twenty-one people on the working group representing those 11 national member bodies. This is quite a large committee for a standards working group.
This is an excellent place to compare one of the major differences about operating under the national ANSI guide- lines versus the ISO guidelines—membership. Working under ANSI, anyone can become a member of the standards working group, but within ISO you must be nominated by your country’s member body. In the U.S., the member body is ANSI, American National Standards Institute, which works through the ASA for topics related to acoustics and vibration. Other member bodies are British Standards Institute (BSI) in the UK; Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) in Germany; and Standards Council of Canada (SCC) in Canada.
A pleasant surprise working within ISO is that the organization provides a set of web tools for the chair and the committee. The most useful is the availability of a web meet- ing account. This is very helpful in keeping the committee efforts moving forward. ANSI does not provide such support unless funding is provided by private parties. For ISO Working Group 55, the web meeting has become an indis- pensable tool. It allows telephone connection of everyone by land line or voice over internet protocol (VOIP). It allows dis- play of the agenda and other relevant visual information on the user’s computer screen. With this group, we have had as many as ten committee members on a web meeting at once.
One important issue for international web meetings is selecting a time during which most committee members can “attend” the meeting. The best time to include the East and
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