2017 Distinguished Technical Achievement Award

For advances in Arctic acoustics, oceanography and tomography.

Peter N. Mikhalevsky

Dr. Peter N. Mikhalevsky is in the 45th year of his career in oceanic engineering spanning the military, academia and private industry. He earned his B.A. in Engineering and Applied Physics and his M.S. in Applied Mathematics in 1972 from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1972 specializing in anti-submarine warfare (ASW). He was instrumental in the fleet introduction of tactical towed arrays for destroyers. He applied and was accepted at MIT for doctoral studies in 1975 and subsequently was the technical lead on a major advanced ASW development program. He left the Navy in 1983 to join the faculty of MIT where he taught acoustic signal processing. He joined SAIC (now Leidos) in 1985 to start a new division and built a successful 200M/year business in advanced ocean undersea systems, underwater acoustics and signal processing which supported the U.S. Navy and other customers for over 30 years. Highlights include developing the Navy’s first unmanned ship (ACTUV aka Sea Hunter), supporting advanced undersea acoustic trainers, and the design, development and installation of the hydro-acoustic stations of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) while engaging actively in ocean research and experimentation.

With his expertise in long range acoustic propagation and fluctuations, matched field processing (MFP), array processing, acoustic tomography and thermometry, Peter Mikhalevsky was Chief Scientist and Principal Investigator of some of the first successful experimental applications of MFP and acoustic thermometry in the ocean. He successfully demonstrated MFP at 1000 km in the Pacific in 1987. In 1994 he transmitted the first trans-Arctic (2,600 km) coherent source acoustic spread-spectrum waveforms and detected basin scale warming in the Arctic Intermediate Water resulting from warming Atlantic water entering the Arctic in the West Spitzbergen Current via the Fram Strait. He repeated that experiment in 1998-99 and measured continued warming. These results were subsequently confirmed by ice breaker and submarine transects. He created the triad design for the hydro-acoustic stations of the CTBTO global monitoring system significantly improving each stations’ localization capability, false alarm rejection, and improved use of reflected phases enabling applications beyond nuclear testing deterrence including localization and tracking of calving icebergs from Antarctica. He has 22 published papers in books and journals and 52 in conference proceedings.

For his work Peter Mikhalevsky received the Decibel Award (Naval Undersea Warfare Center, New London, CT), the A.B. Wood Medal and Prize (Institute of Acoustics, U.K.) and the R. Bruce Lindsay Award (Acoustical Society of America). Peter Mikhalevsky is a Leidos Fellow, Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).