Site: Institute of Applied Physics (IAP)
Russian Academy of Sciences
46 Uljanov Street
Nizhny Novgorod 603600
Telephone: 8312-366669
Telex: 151129 FIZIK SU
Fax: 8312-369717

Date Visited: May 18, 1993

Report Authors: B. Mooney and D. Walsh



B. Mooney
D. Walsh


Andrei V. Gapanov-Grekhov; (Academician) Director, IAP
Professor Lev A. Ostrovsky; Head of Laboratory
Dr. Mark M. Slavinsky; Deputy Director of Hydrophysics and Acoustics; Head, Dept. of Ocean Acoustics
Dr. Victor I. Turchin; Sr. Scientist, Vibroacoustics Laboratory
Professor Litvak


The first event of the visit was a 45-minute meeting with Academician Gapanov-Grekhov to discuss the WTEC program and, in general, the ocean-related work of his institute. This meeting was also attended by both Professor Lev Ostrovsky and Dr. Mark Slavinsky.

The Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) works in both fundamental and applied research areas. There are five departments in IAP:

The director discussed the ocean-related activities of these departments and provided the panel with a booklet providing the same information.

A major thrust now is to convert as many activities as possible from defense to commercial work. The institute currently has contract work with U.S. companies General Atomics and Varian Associates. The institute also seeks to apply its know-how to detect anomalies in the sea (developed for ASW purposes) through environmental monitoring.

The Department of Hydrophysics and Hydroacoustics, where most of IAP's ocean-related work was concentrated, included:

The Solid State Physics department has been working on superconducting materials to develop conductors that will work efficiently at warmer temperatures. The director said they had not been working on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion devices.

The director said that IAP used to work extensively in the oceans worldwide; however, the institute has a hard time obtaining access to ships, which are very costly. In particular he mentioned the situation with the P.P. Shirshov vessels Ioffe and Vaviloff, which his staff had used. As noted in the WTEC report on the Shirshov Institute, Ioffe is already on lease to a German company as a passenger vessel. It is feared that Vaviloff may have the same fate.

Academician Gapanov-Grekhov also spent some time talking with the panel about the proposed Ocean Shuttle Project, a joint venture between the Lazurit Central Design Bureau and the ECS Group of Canada. Planning had been taking place during the final months of the USSR, and this work has not been resumed. Academician Gapanov-Grekhov believes this project should be resumed; he is a strong supporter of the unique work that could be done with a built-for-the-purpose nuclear submarine oceanographic platform. He feels that the Ocean Shuttle concept is more feasible than the alternative of converting a former military submarine for this purpose. Both projects are currently being discussed between the Russian and American oceanographic communities.

Next, the panel embarked on a two-hour tour of several laboratories and offices in the institute where ocean-related work was being conducted.

Prior to leaving the institute, the panel again met at the director's office for final discussions. He mentioned that he is Chairman of the State Committee of Hydrophysics, and that this keeps him involved with related work in other Russian institutes. This also gives him a major voice in the directions that Russian hydrophysics will take.


In the visits to the laboratories and offices, the team was briefed on the following areas.

Stratified Fluid Tanks

The Hydrophysics Laboratory at the IAP has two tanks that permit experiments in a two-layered stratified fluid system. The smaller tank is 5.5 x 3.3 x 2.7 m and the larger is 20 x 4 x 2 m. In operation, the lower layer of fluid is cooled and the upper is heated to provide a temperature difference of up to 16C and a maximum gradient of 0.6C per cm. Once the layers are established, the stratification can remain for prolonged periods without much additional heating and cooling.

In both tanks it is possible to circulate the two layers independently. In the large tank, wave-making devices can excite either or both layers. In this way, internal waves can be induced in the tank. The wave-making device can vary force from a few grams to 1 kg.

A towing carriage permits experimentation with how various shapes (such as submarine hulls) interfere with the stratified system, and whether this interference is measurable at the surface. The panel saw a tow model whose shape appeared quite close to a U.S. Navy SSBN. Carriage tow speeds can be varied from 1 cm/sec to 1 m/sec.

The Department of Hydrophysics and Hydroacoustics is working on remote diagnostic methods of detecting submarines; low frequency ocean instrumentation; low frequency phased arrays, antennae, and projectors; methods of determining depth; and locating submarines and ocean phenomena using radar and optical systems. The department is experimenting with a synthetic aperture radar to detect the surface wave reduction "scar" or "slick" caused by a moving submarine. The scientists and engineers claim that a moving submarine alters the normal internal wave pattern and that by use of a synthetic aperture radar, scatterometer, and passive optical devices, the internal relationships between surface waves and internal waves can be measured.

Anechoic Chamber

This appeared to be a fairly standard chamber for testing acoustic transmissions and for measuring radiated self-noise.

Doppler Current Meter

Doppler current meters and ship speed logs have been in use for several years. The unit that panel members were shown at IAP was designed to be an oceanographic instrument. The device has three beams of either 30 or 120.

Mobile Linear Hydroacoustic Antenna

This system is capable of making very accurate acoustic spectrum measurements of passing vessels. The 200 m long array is portable and consists of 64 hydrophones spaced 3 m apart; operating depth is 300 m. The frequency range is from 20 to 300 Hz; the upper range can be extended to 2,000 Hz. IAP is offering the array system for $20,000 with a five-month delivery time. The signal processing software is an additional $12,500. The system has been successfully field tested in the Barents Sea and near the Kamchatka Peninsula.

A Shipboard Multisensor for Ocean Surface Roughness Measurements for Detection of Subsurface Processes

This system used radar, acoustic, and optical devices to sense the sea surface to detect anomalous perturbations caused by internal processes. This can be the passage of a submarine or natural events such as internal waves.

The Department of Plasma Physics and High Power Electronics is working on the following projects:


It was clear that a three-hour visit to the IAP was insufficient to get into very much detail about the programs and devices being developed by this institute. It was also clear that everyone the team met there was most cooperative and interested in informing team members about their work. Due to time constraints, the team was not able to spend much time at each office or laboratory. A detailed visit to IAP should occupy two to three days. The panelists were impressed by everyone's eagerness to establish working arrangements with Western research institutions and commercial companies.


Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Descriptive booklet on the IAP.

"Hydrophysics Laboratory of the IAP." Description of the IAP's two stratified fluid tanks.

"Universal Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)." Brief description of the system.

"The Acoustic Source Image Reconstruction from the Near-Field Measurements." Theory, design, and description of the mobile acoustic array.

"A Computer Ship Complex of Remote Sensing for Investigation of Ocean Subsurface Processes." Describes the multisensor shipboard system for measuring man-made or natural aperiodic surface roughness.

"Activities and Organization of the Hydrophysics Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences."

Division of Hydrophysics and Hydroacoustics. Pamphlet.

Deep-Water Self-Sustained Station MDS-48.

On-Board Control System BSU-1,2.

Noise Suppression Problem. Proposal.

Published: June 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian