The efficacy of large tethered encapsulated gas bubbles for the mitigation of low frequency underwater noise was investigated with an acoustic resonator technique. Tethered latex balloons were used as the bubbles, which had radii of approximately 5 cm. Phase speeds were inferred from the resonances of a water and balloon-filled waveguide approximately 1.8 m in length. The Commander and Prosperetti effective-medium model [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 85, 732–746 (1989)] quantitatively described the observed dispersion from well below to just below the individual bubble resonance frequency, and it qualitatively predicted the frequency range of high attenuation for void fractions between 2% and 5% for collections of stationary balloons within the waveguide. A finite-element model was used to investigate the sensitivity of the waveguide resonance frequencies, and hence the inferred phase speeds, to changes in individual bubble size and position. The results indicate that large tethered encapsulated bubbles could be used mitigate low frequency underwater noise and that the Commander and Prosperetti model would be useful in the design of such a system.

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