Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL researchers hear the sound of NAVY silence

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 25, 1996 — Navy submarines make almost no sound. Yet, Randall Wetherington with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has directed a research group which hears those sounds of silence by bringing to life that technology made famous by Tom Clancy's book, "The Hunt for Red October."

Wetherington of ORNL's Instrumentation and Controls Division will present "Measuring the Undetectable: Hearing the Navy's Silent Fleet," during a showcase lecture at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1 in ORNL's Wigner Auditorium.

In his presentation, the leader of the Real-Time Systems Group will describe the $30 million-plus project of designing advanced instrumentation to measure previously undetectable submarine noise for the U.S. Navy. Wetherington served as program manager for the two-phase project resulting in the development of key portions of this acoustic measuring system. His project team was presented with an ORNL Outstanding Engineering Accomplishment Award in 1994. Wetherington received the 1996 ORNL Outstanding Management Achievement Award for his leadership and management of this project.

Wetherington has been with ORNL almost 20 years specializing in advanced R&D research. His current position involves developing and integrating high-performance computer-based systems not available in the commercial market with the focus of high-speed data acquisition and real-time signal processing.

Wetherington received a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1977. Six years later, he received a master's in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp.