How Sonar Works (Submarine Shadow Zone) - Smarter Every Day 249


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    1. SmarterEveryDay

      This was an incredibly challenging video to make. The challenge came with getting the Navy to agree to the interview in the first place, then successfully navigating the interview without it being shut down. In the end, everyone was super professional and it was a really fun topic to learn about! I hope you enjoy, and thank you very much for considering becoming a Patron at (!

      1. Ze Pig Man 2

        so which is it? do nukes rool or do they drool?

      2. Jeff B

        My dad was a contractor for the navy with IBM for the skipjack class. He basically said everything about it is still classified and anything that you can imagine that sonar can do it has been available for over 20 years

      3. Harvey Harrison

        ​@kyle32121 Clearance typically lapses with a Job - it makes no sense for someone to retain a clearance unless they specifically need it. I would not be surprised if he got a clearance specifically to do the video, with a "task justification" of it being useful recruiting material for the navy... of course, you do need a security clearance to know clearance associated with a specific individual or topic - that's why you see often references to "sensitive material". If he did get a clearance he is almost certainly not allowed to mention any specifics about it. Interesting to speculate.

      4. Anthony Jackson

        Ah the waterfall display....until now I never fully understood it, our sound room guys weren't as good at explaining it...mind youbi learned how to identify a 4blade prop from a 3 blade...go deep, go deep, go deep 😁

      5. Levi S.

        Destin will you do a video on the physics behind a wood fired oven? I've been looking at building one and everything I find on the internet seems more based on hype and popularity, I want to know how they work and what the best way is to build one please.

    2. Feral Feline

      Watch or read any good submarine story and they talk about thermal layers to hide from the skimmers. So did they tell you that there are only 2 types of ships? Submarines and targets. :)

    3. Donovan Guilfoyle

      I still want to know about sleeping and showering

    4. Bret Morgan

      20:00 love the MGS sound effect!

    5. Daniel Walters

      It's totally declassified, pulls out a copy of 688 Hunter Killer from 1997. P.S. these videos would have made that game so much easier to figure out.

      1. Daniel Walters

        That wonderful feeling of thinking you have a shot at your target free and clear, launching your first torpedo, only to hear a torpedo coming out of the shadow zone directly parallel to your hull. Just a game, but that moment of phuh is permanently embedded in my brain

    6. Oakstrom

      Are you going to talk to a Reactor Operator? I was hoping to see someone I recognized lol

    7. TheEmeraldSword

      I was gonna make a joke comment on how a lot of this is classified, *but I'm afraid that's classified.*

    8. Rogelio Paran

      If you’re getting returns from the surface and the bottom why not just take the depth of the submarine, calculate the amount of time it takes for sound to go to the surface and bottom then cross reference those times with your return signals? It sounds more then likely you’ll be able to “hear” the target then once you do jot it onto a piece of paper how long it took then when you hear more returns from the surface and bottom colliding into the other vessel use them to try to isolate the location?

    9. Douglas Blair

      All brought to you by an Enlisted Navy Chief - who may have a degree - but doesn't need one to challenge you and keep America Secure.

    10. Truckinhertz

      I'm halfway through this video and feeling confident in my new ability to build a submarine! Edit: Four minutes later - I quit! 🤯 lol

    11. Adric M

      one of the few times ive actually loved the sponsorship part almost as much as the video.

    12. Jonathan

      This guy Destin is smart, but lacks some emotional intelligence. 26:24 awkwardddd

    13. January Success

      The naive shame syntactically stare because friction endoscopically gather pro a elastic bee. ambiguous, public break

    14. Brazilian Gentleman

      imagine fishing in a submarine

    15. wrightmf

      Answered my question why subs don't ping all the time like the Seaview on "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." Great soundtrack for a TV show but not practical to broadcast "here we are, here we are, here we are, ..."

    16. Desert Racer

      I freakin love military science.

    17. Sk0lzkiy

      Me: That purple line is obvious lol Destin: lets step it up a little My brain: *panicking*

    18. Jay Richardson

      This has overall been a pretty informative video. Having been a previous diesel power submariner from a allied country and sonar operator I would say that overall all the info you presented is pretty accurate. There are lots of other factors that get taken into account not to mention the actual operator skill involved in processing and determining what a contact is but great info from the limited info the navy provided you.

    19. Dizzyy Dreams23

      You have already done it my friend You are going to become worldwide

    20. ezanchi

      Wow this is soooo cool!

    21. Egor Ivanov

      That's so funny seeing them classifying and redacting all that active sonar info that we are taught and work with in university.

    22. Frank Jin

      Tax payer appreciation lessons

    23. Kubi

      It is kind of scary that our enemies know more about this than us American's who pay for it.

    24. Abbie Marshall

      The petite silk uniquely grab because exclamation really measure save a gifted brick. savory, physical border

    25. adiero

      Not to mention - Everything is moving, nor a word about doplering. :) Brave amzing people. Mightier than the waves in the sea! Thank you.

    26. DarkRedman31

      Just searching with first results I found the same document in form of HTML/CSS webpage where the content is not redacted so I found the formula.

    27. Andersson Motors

      Learned the same thing from finding dory

    28. Jon Rayner

      The funny part is, is that after watching this I understand more of the passive sonar senses from “The Hunt for Red October”. Lol.

    29. Adam Kessler

      I love how vague they are. It’s kind of cool to think how much we don’t know

    30. ezra

      If I met that chief in civies and he told me he was in the military, I'd confidently guess he was a submariner. Submariners with a lot of sea miles just seem...worn. Lol

    31. KEK

      Thanks for coming down!

    32. Tristen's Madness

      This was probably one of the most education videos I've ever seen... wow. Thank you Dustin!!!

    33. John Crafton

      As a former US Navy Sonar Technician, I truly enjoyed being a sonar operator, maintenance technician, supervisor, and even instructor. Each role was incredibly rewarding. I truly feel for this chief, as he has formulate his answers based on multiple criteria: Simplicity, effectiveness, and sensitivity. He needs to simplify otherwise abstract concepts. He needs to make sure he effectively answers the question, even when the question itself is loaded with inaccuracies. Lastly, he needs to ensure he doesn't divulge any sensitive, privileged, or classified information. By the time he reaches the rank of Chief Petty Officer, he likely has the experience to do most of this; however, it's still a difficult task - especially when the level of sensitivity may change from one moment to the next. They did a good job, all things considered. I've had to do this myself, and I truly dreaded it. That's why I feel for the Chief in the video. It's not an altogether enjoyable task to answer civilian questions when a) most of the answers are multilayered, b) most of the answers are very abstract to the layman, and c) much of how the US Navy uses SONAR is classified.

    34. danialphaomega

      @ 13:16 That is OLD technology 🤣 they spoofed you! We have way better technology. Ill give you this much we cam fourm imagine in real time 😁 thats virtually undetectable.

    35. Ricardo Pesenti

      The last segment about high school geometry was cute xD

    36. Navnath Nikam

      My soul thanks you❤

    37. Adam Schindler

      The most important rule in steering a boat: If your relative bearing does not change, then you're on a collision course. EDIT: immediatley after posting this, I see that Destin explains it. The way that you break things down is exceptional.

    38. Thomas Gaudette

      You should've warned us that our minds would be blown at 18:45 lol. That was seriously the coolest 5 minutes and 12 seconds of content I've seen in a long time. I got smarter every second.

    39. Tech Cafe

      active sonar is supposedly quite harmful to whales, dolphins and marine life in general. what is the navy doing to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the damage being done from emitting high power sonar in the oceans?

    40. Daniel Dalton


    41. Cody Works

      @smarterEveryDAy 20000 leagues under the sea is what made me fall in love with reading and novels. I still have the book. they were selling it at my highschool library my senior year.

    42. Bramulya Subagiyo

      destin!! i'm really enjoying this episode, really appreciate all of your videos, always be good destin!

    43. nurul syazana

      mind blowing contents🤯

    44. promontorium

      My primary job in the Navy was like this "passive sonar" but with radar. That "database" was pretty much in our head.

    45. Will Carter

      As a Submariner and Sonarmen, you're speaking the language of my people Destin. And to make it really sink in, they allow a qualified broadband operator, often the most junior enlisted guys onboard who could be just out of high school, to drive a 6 billion dollar warship.

    46. NullElement

      i'd make a comment but then i'd be on even more watch lists 😂

    47. littlebrit

      Sucks for Russia and China, because they can't pass by Japan. The straights are too narrow. Japan is like a big sub defense shield. That is why they use Murmansk and Sanya for subs. geography is much better at those ports.

    48. Alan Hazard

      Sonar officer looked like he had not slept for a week.

    49. VeryBoredGamer

      in russia some girl got in prison for sharing accidental photo of some dude on her wedding........ and here i can see insides of submarine and even tags of crewmembers.

    50. Rustin Dudley

      We are doing alot of active sonar on this mission . rip the last greenland shark

    51. William Lamy

      I so do LOVE this series

    52. Joshua Spicer


    53. VirlomiEntreri

      This was a fascinating series you did. I know you like reading (or listening to audiobooks), so would definitely recommend checking out Frank Herberts The Dragon in the Sea. Also, hello to a fellow Alabamian. :)

    54. Mark Durham

      Looking forward to more videos

    55. Jiří Sedláček

      I am feeling a bit confused, I as many others was experimenting with an ultrasound meter on step motor... And that's how I imagined it... beeping 360, to get a nice layer of distances. But I never really figure out how to get 3d image. Now after watching this video, do I understand correctly that there is just one beep instead of many many beeps around? So there is no good way to get really 3d information about other objects?

    56. sebastien arnaud

      Hey ! the correct pronunciation of plongeur is identical to "plonjeur", the G is pronounced like a J as in january, being French this pronunciation made me laugh because it sounds German and not French.

    57. Tamas Mujnoi

      This guy reminds me of Martin Lloyd from SG 1. Looks and sounds :))

    58. logics

      Religious Nut.

    59. Joshua Baughn

      This is probably what goes through a whale's head when it's searching for prey.

    60. Three60five

      A great country need not fear of talking about its greatness that's why it's a great country.

    61. Andrew Schnick

      I knew of the Underwater Sound Channel. Years ago, I found this video lecture on KGup that explored the Roswell 1947 incident but from a non-conspiratorial way where the lecturer explained that Maurice Ewing found out about a depth range where the temperature allowed a sound to travel a long distance w/o losing much signal strength. The lecturer went on that because of this discovery, the USAF during WWII had pilots carry orbs onboard their fighter planes to throw overboard because they had a crush depth in the underwater sound channel. Maurice Ewing also discovered an upper atmospheric sound channel at a certain height in the sky. This led the US Army to listen for Soviet nuclear weapons tests with Operation Mogul.

    62. MRH BKJK

      I can Not thank You enough for this video.

    63. Faldrian

      Okay, so Destin would have been easier been able to explain all these things without visiting the submarine (and having to deal with military personnel unwilling / unable to talk about things that are known to the public). Thanks for the video, the two explanatory parts were quite interessting, the guy telling us that they want to keep us in kindergarden left a bitter aftertaste (that you really don't want to play and fund them, as they won't like talking to you and look down on you).

    64. Arturo Arzadon

      The dashing shade randomly intend because authorization dewailly happen with a four frail decade. right, drunk drain

    65. tvx gamer

      The flawless art ophthalmoscopically beam because latex certainly mend out a shy farm. delirious, voiceless name

    66. Brother Malachai

      15:35 I'm impressed with his knowledge of his manual. Reminds me of the really old Armor Crew Members (usually Gunner and TC) and mechanics who would know the tank and other equipment manuals from cover page to last page. All Three Volumes.

    67. Joseph C

      I recommend twenty thousand leagues. Read it. Loved it. If you are into sci fi

    68. neo

      Thank you Navy for your was AWESOME!!!

    69. neo

      Geometry was my favorite class in high school. I loved it because I understood it and got A's! lol

    70. neo

      Great video! Love it!!

    71. AnimationGoneWrong

      I only just got to checking out this submarine series now... WOW! Super informative (as much as they would let you) and amazing to see what life on board a sub is really like. The fact that you actually got to spend 24 hours on one is OUTRAGEOUS!!! I don't even want to know what you had to go through to get this video made. Nicely done!

    72. Ethan 2005

      4:44 Call of duty lobbies be like

    73. archie perkin

      Great video!! Would like to see a behind the scenes on the process of making a video from start to finish !

    74. Jake Perkins

      Can sonar hear pings from another ships sonar. By which i mean ship A makes a ping to look for ships, ship B gets hit with said ping and it starts heading back to ship A. Is ship A aware it was pinged.

    75. Dakota Picou

      5:39 actually that is the sound of a distant train using a K5LA horn. Just being nitpicky XD

    76. SrgCuddlez


    77. Jack Ford

      The spicy goldfish relatively rhyme because machine genetically spoil apud a hissing century. ready, endurable century

    78. Meow Milev

      *The same crew crashes that sub in japan recently!*

    79. Micha

      What are these people doing in their free time?

    80. LilAce!

      Here for the MGS sounds.

    81. Adam Navigato

      I like to imagine when he got the footage back from the navy, they didn’t cut everything out, they just replaced it with a silly ‘technical difficulties’ style screen that says ‘Sorry, that’s classified’ with silly music playing for the entire duration of what would be the classified part, that would get old so Destin had to cut it out.

    82. sniperdoc8404

      I love how cautious they were in this. A lot of what they discussed, and a lot of things they didn't even touch, are already addressed in PC games like 688 Attack Sub way back from 1989. There are more modern games that literally have repeated the mechanics of sonar in Jane's 688(i) and Sub Command. They had things like thermoclines, salinity, depth, pressure, etc. Nowadays, for the most part, the sonar on submarines still works the same way, except they are listening for things differently and use different methods to determine where a contact might be. ;)

    83. strkeout

      I'm guessing these sub videos have taken so long to come out because the US Military is reviewing and editing before allowing these to be released.

    84. TrEaKoNN

      The thing I love most about this video is how there's a cribbage record board between the XO and the CO!! Besidesthat , it's another great video from you Destin. ;)

    85. 3am BaCh

      The lower frequencies are down here And The higher frequencies are up here 😂😂 this voice tho 😂😂😂🤣

    86. Dion Sparow

      0:08 that "NICE" sound satisfying

    87. Ozzie

      This series really takes me back! When I was a ST we had our own sonar room with a door which gave us some privacy to goof off while underway. In the new subs I guess the sonar guys are just out there in the control room like lowly FTs? How sad! Also, its a shame they didn't let you sit at the broadband stack to hear some trawlers and biologics

    88. Jhonswal Basarte

      There’s a movie exactly about sounds and stuff in the submarine I don’t remember how it calls but it was exactly about what he was talking about can someone tell me the name of it please?

    89. sailoryan

      The submariners are the smartest guys on earth. Every one!!

    90. Rob Allen

      That would've been fun to have a second camera on the XO just to watch him squirm as you started asking a question that rubbed up against that nogo zone. But, it was still a very short (interesting) 25ish minutes. On to making pizza... lol

    91. Ben Johns

      CO and XO Cribbage Record at 10:03

    92. Kristofer Örn Stefánsson

      It's 2:45am i have to wake upp at 7 😵

    93. ifeel sic

      still very disrespectful to sit on a table literally in a nuclear sub. Why would you even think that is okay?

    94. Adam Navigato

      Every time you say the name of the ship, I just think of one of those old timey football announcers saying “Holy toledo!”

    95. Nathan Keel

      If the twats running this stuff would make all this so called classified information public knowledge, our technology would be much more advanced for the good of all. They act like our adversaries don't already have the same technology

    96. Kyle

      I am beyond impressed with the detail and depth of knowledge of the crew

    97. Dave Nuts

      I have heard that if a diver is within a certain distance from the sub when it pings active sonar that it will liquify there organs. Is this true?

    98. =NolePtr

      I know how you'd remove the interference from the ice above and the floor below. You'd need to mirror the environment across the boundaries (like looking through a mirror). With that there are some simple geometric ratios that arise, and you can filter out any times that are roughly fit within that. It's actually quite similar to that special relativity experiment in that regard, actually.

    99. Memo - P

      Your content and example is amazing! Thank you Sir!!!

    100. SkywalkerExpress

      not just submarine, modern anti-ship missile has onboard library of various radar signatures to differentiate ship by classes/types.