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General Tank Information

Test Tank Hours: 7 am - 4:30 pm

Description: test tankThis state-of-the-art underwater optic and acoustic test tank is designed to be a resource for local academic, government and industrial researchers and product developers.

The 90,000-gallon tank is designed for development and testing of underwater measurement concepts and devices. The tank is built half below floor level and half above. It is fully supported on vibration isolators, and noise level measurements indicate that, acoustically, the tank is at least two times quieter than sea state.

Six 3 x 4-foot optical ports, each consisting of a good quality, low-iron glass, are built around the tank walls several feet above the floor. The instrumentation suite, which is under computer control, includes a variety of acoustic and laser-signal sources and power amplifiers. The tank holds either fresh or salt water, which have very different optical properties.

The filter system consists of a sand filter, bag filters, and UV sterilizer, which provides excellent water quality without the use of biocides.

Application examples:

  • Optical experimentation such as the study of the nonlinear effects of high-power lasers in the water medium
  • Laser testing for underwater and through-the-surface communication
  • Testing  underwater vehicles

Dimensions: 21’L 30’W 20’D

Current Water State: Sea Water Fresh Water

Tank Size and Amenities

tank sketch

Tank diagrams courtesy of Corey Bachand, BTech Acoustics, LLC.

  • Fresh or sea water can be changed at additional cost
  • Optional Recirculating seawater system (“Life support”) for experiments involving live animals
  • Dual overhead  two ton (each) lifts, can be used simultaneously or individually
  • Easy access through 12’x9’ overhead door
  • 2 large workbenches
  • Wifi access
  • Temporary workstation with computer available upon  request




Without life support

With life support

Internal Rates

$510 (Full Day) $255 (Half)

$689 (Full Day) $344 (Half)

External Rates

$811 (Full Day) $406 (Half)

$1200 (Full Day) $600 (Half)

Water Change Fee - Cost to switch the tank from saltwater to freshwater (vice versa)


Forms, Availability and Contact Information

For more information please contact:
Eric Lyonnais
Facilities Manager
School for Marine Science and Technology
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


706 South Rodney French Blvd.
New Bedford, Massachusetts 02744-1221
Phone: 508-999-8193
FAX: 508-910-6371 

Directions: Take I-195 toward New Bedford to Route 18 south. After several sets of lights, Route 18 becomes Water Street, then South Rodney French Boulevard. Continue on South Rodney French Boulevard. You will pass through a hurricane dike and a beach area. SMAST is located at the point of South Rodney French Boulevard.

An Official University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Web Page/Publication. © 2012 Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts.
UMass Dartmouth • School for Marine Science and Technology • 706 Rodney French Blvd • New Bedford, MA 02744-1221
Phone: 508 999-8193 • Fax: 508 999-8197