Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Ocean Engineering


Ocean Engineering

First Advisor

Harold T. Vincent II


The U.S Navy’s system for locating black boxes from downed aircraft is the Towed Pinger Locator 25 (TPL-25). The TPL-25 is a kite-shaped fiberglass shell that is towed behind a surface vessel while its single omnidirectional hydrophone listens for the signal being transmitted from the emergency beacon on one of the aircraft’s black boxes. Recovery of the black boxes is critical to an accident investigation yet the window in which to locate the black box is short, typically only 30 days, and the success of the TPL-25 is limited as evidenced by the unsuccessful search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014.

This thesis explores how replacing the TPL-25’s single omnidirectional hydrophone with a device that has an increased directivity index, specifically with a linear array of directional multimode hydrophones, can increase the detection range of the TPL-25.



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