Acoustic Analyst Submariner
About the Job The use of submarines and effective anti-submarine tactics is one of the most important aspects of Australia's Naval Operations. Over the years Australia has developed a conventional submarine force which is second to none in our region or the world. The submarine's principal task is to keep Australia's maritime environment free from the threat of incursion by hostile ships and submarines.
To achieve this aim the submarine may operate in conjunction with other ships as part of a task group or operate as an independent unit far from home or support. Submarines achieve their aim primarily by detecting the noise from an unknown contact. That noise source is then tracked, classified and if required, engaged with a variety of weapons.
However the submarines primary weapon is stealth. Major techniques employed for the detection of other submarines and ships include broad and narrow band detection. Broadband uses the combined noise that a contact may be putting into the water whereas narrowband analysis allows a submarine to fingerprint a contact based on specific machinery noises.
An Acoustic Warfare Analyst Submariner (known as AWASM) operates, supervises and manages all passive and active sonar's and acoustic sensors onboard a Collins Class submarine. An AWA SM is trained to detect, track and classify noise sources in the oceans. The information that the AWASM provides Command is critical for the submarine to achieve the aim.
Acoustic information which is passed to the command team can consist of classification of sonar contacts, tactical recommendations relating to that contact and also environmental data enabling the submarine to evade a threat or increase the tactical range advantage over contacts. AWASMs fall under the Warfare branch, who are also responsible for seamanship; therefore when the submarine is on the surface AWASMs conduct a variety of duties consisting of control room watch-keeper, act as a lookout, helmsman and standby fire party. They also manage, supervise and conduct seamanship evolutions such as, anchor party, helicopter transfer and boat transfer to name just a few.
Whilst the submarine is dived, AWASMs watch keep as sonar operators, and fulfil a variety of auxiliary positions consisting of navigator’s assistant, damage control and survival equipment sailor. As an AWASM you will be operating the most advanced sonar and combat systems in the Navy and as such you will have a high degree of training. When the submarine is alongside the AWASM sailors conduct hull preservation work as required on the submarine and also participate in seamanship evolutions.