Advanced Sensing Technologies for maritime monitoring and seismic sensing

Wilcoxon Research® products were introduced to the marketplace in 1960 by former staff members of the David Taylor Naval Research Center. In the last 50 years, our engineers have been responsible for many advances in piezoelectric accelerometers, including the development of leading-edge products, contributing industry-notable research, and forging innovative markets.

From conception through production, we excel in creating and providing reliable, high performance sensing and monitoring systems for military, energy and industrial applications. Our qualified research and development staff has decades of experience and a strong track record creating and delivering products for complex monitoring systems and important programs. 

To discuss your requirements, and for more information on our advanced engineering products and solutions for extreme operational environments, please email:

Engineering excellence

  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) design and modeling
  • Low power designs
  • Digital interfaces
  • High shock survivability
  • Design to military specifications

Testing capabilities

  • Noise measurements
  • Shock survivability
  • Underwater sensitivity, phase and directionality
  • Magnetic heading and inertial pitch/roll calibrations
  • Pressure and temperature
  • Military standards: MIL-STD-461, MIL-STD-810, RTCA/DO-160

Maritime and seismic sensing solutions

We provide advanced underwater products  and seismic sensors for military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance applications. Other applications include sensor solutions for structural integrity monitoring, oil and gas exploration and mammal detection. Wilcoxon Research products are known for reliability, backed by our responsive customer support team.

Maritime sensing applications include

  • Towed and stationary arrays
  • Sonobuoys
  • Listening stations
  • Shipboard machinery and hull monitoring

Seismic and infrastructure monitoring applications include

  • Perimeter and road surveillance
  • Border intruder detection
  • Underground intruder detection
  • Deep sea acoustic surveillance
  • Vibration monitoring of bridges, building and towers

Wilcoxon Research advanced sensing technology products include


Vector sensors

Wilcoxon Research vector sensors measure the acoustic pressure and particle acceleration in three orthogonal axes. These four sensing elements are located in a single housing with a common acoustic phase center. The four channels of the vector sensor, when combined, produce a cardioid directivity pattern which provides approximately 4.8 dB improvement in the signal to noise ratio over a traditional omni-directional pressure sensor. In addition, engineering sensors are embedded within the housing and, when combined with acoustic sensors, can provide a bearing to the target.


  • 3 orthogonal axis accelerometers and 1 omni-directional hydrophone
  • Preamplifier and differential output
  • Pitch and roll
  • Heading
  • Temperature
  • Health check
  • Micro-controller with comm link

Typical applications

  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Marine wildlife monitoring
  • Underwater acoustic research
  • Harbor and inlet security
  • Homeland security
  • Military surveillance
  • Towed array
  • Stationary array
  • Underwater monitoring stations
  • Sonobuoy

Vector sensors specification datasheets

The following specification sheets contain export-controlled information, which can only be released upon verification of recipient, end use and end user. To inquire, please email:

  • VS-101 low frequency vector sensor
  • VS-206 mid frequency vector sensor
  • VS-209 mid frequency vector sensor
  • VS-301 low frequency vector sensor



Hydrophones are underwater microphones for acoustic measurements. Wilcoxon Research hydrophones are built to withstand the rigors of continuous underwater exposure in both sea water and fresh water environments. Each hydrophone uses piezoelectric crystals with a built-in electronic amplifier, to boost the low level signal of pressure waves underwater signals. The output is a dynamic AC signal superimposed upon the DC Bias Output Voltage (BOV).

Typical applications

  • Underwater biological studies
  • Ship noise studies
  • Pump and machinery studies
  • Monitoring of underwater ordinance

The H505L hydrophone is designed as a small, versatile, self-amplified hydrophone for general purpose application to a wide variety of underwater acoustic measurements. Ruggedness, low cost and an ultra low-noise internal amplifier are prime features of this unit. The internal amplifier eliminates triboelectric cable noise, connector contamination problems and the requirement for an expensive in-line amplifier. The hydrophone and cable entry are completely encapsulated in polyurethane. This alleviates water intrusion caused by cathodic action. The assembly uses preaged piezoelectric (PZT) sensing elements.

H505L hydrophone general specifications

  • Sensitivity tolerance: -160.0 dB re 1V/uPa
  • Low frequency: 2.0 Hz 120 CPM
  • High frequency: 10.0 kHz 600.0 kCPM
  • Maximum temperature: 80 degrees C
  • Designed to military specifications

H505L hydrophone detailed specification datasheet


Seismic sensors

Combine a supersensitive piezoelectric accelerometer, an ultra low-noise amplifier, excellent electrical/mechanical isolation, and the result will be unmatched performance in measuring low-level vibration. Seismic accelerometers have internal amplifiers similar to the industrial accelerometers. They are powered using the same method, a constant-current diode to provide power to the accelerometer. The seismic accelerometer amplifier output has a characteristic bias output voltage (BOV) and the vibration is superimposed upon this DC voltage level. The accelerometer circuit is isolated from the case making installation and mounting simple, while the two-wire powering and signal method simplifies the wiring.

Wilcoxon Research seismic sensors are all characterized by good low frequency response, high output sensitivity and a low noise floor. They are primarily designed to measure low amplitude low frequency signals in applications such as structural monitoring and vibration isolation verification. Accelerometers used for earth seismic monitoring should have a very low noise floor. Model 731A has a noise floor very near the New High Noise Model (NHNM) developed by the U.S. Department of Interior. The 731A ultra-quiet seismic accelerometer can measure vibration levels down to the sub micro-g range by using an ultra low noise internal amplifier and a high sensitivity inertial sensing element. It contains no moving parts, is not sensitive to magnetic fields, and has a relatively low mass.

The P31 amplifier enhances the capabilities of the 731A by providing special low noise signal amplification and conditioning by providing 2.4 mA constant current needed to power the accelerometer's internal amplifier.

Common applications

  • Earthquake detection
  • Geophysics, geothermal development
  • Structural analysis
  • Mine safety

Seismic sensor specification datasheets


Underwater accelerometers

Wilcoxon Research underwater accelerometers are designed to be used virtually anywhere under continuous submersion. They are built to withstand the high pressures of deep submergence. Titanium cases are useful when it is desired to have the accelerometer be highly resistant to galvanic corrosion or mounted on titanium structures. Stainless steel can be used for applications where the accelerometer will be mounted on cast iron or mild steel structures since they are near one another on the galvanic series list.

The ability to retain a hermetic seal while submerged is paramount for underwater accelerometers. All Wilcoxon Research underwater accelerometers are designed for continuous exposure to 650 PSI of water pressure. Helium leak testing is used to verify the hermeticity of the welding for accelerometers.

Underwater accelerometers specification datasheets


Test and measurement

Test and measurement accelerometers are generally characterized by smaller size than industrial units and typically use a 10-32 co-axial connector to connect to measurement equipment.

Typical applications

  • Industrial machinery vibration collection
  • Laboratories
  • Modal and structural testing

Test and measurement sensors specification datasheets



We offer sensors that feature Transducer Electronic Data Sheets (TEDS) that conform to the IEEE P1451.4 standard. As a member of National Instruments Plug and Play Sensor Program, Wilcoxon Research TEDS sensors are plug and play compatible with National Instruments LabView software, so system integrators and end users will have pre-configured self-identification information and automation systems for vibration measurements. We currently offer 6 models that include general purpose, low profile, and low frequency vibration accelerometers, as well as velocity measuring sensors. TEDS sensors allow users to greatly simplify setup, use, maintenance, and the collection of calibration data.

TEDS sensors specification datasheets


Wilcoxon Research advanced sensing technology additional literature, specialized articles and publications

MAST brochure

Our vector sensors have been mentioned in the following articles

  • Discovery of Sound in the Sea – Vector Sensor
  • Exocetus Coastal Glider
  • Modifying a Military-Grade Glider for Coastal Scientific Applications

The following publications contain export-controlled information, which can only be released upon verification of recipient, end use and end user. To inquire, please email:

  • A miniature vector sensor for line array applications
  • The use of vector sensor for underwater port and waterway security
  • SBIR success story


Export statement

MAST technologies and products are controlled for export purposes under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 22 CFR parts 120-130 or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) 15 CFR parts 700-799. For information on our technologies or products, we require verification of the recipient, end use and end user.

To inquire, please email:

International customers

An export license is required prior to provision of technology, products and services. To comply with all applicable export regulations, we may ask for further information of documentation prior to releasing any regulated technical information. Any information collected will be used solely for the purpose of compliance.

Quality statements

The quality of our products and services is a top priority.  Our advanced sensing products are designed, developed, processed and delivered in accordance to certified quality management systems.

  • ISO 9001
  • Meggitt’s Germantown facility follows the safety and compliance guidelines specified by the ISO 9001 management system for aerospace manufacturers.
  • ISO 14001 Our facility complies with ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems to ensure a safe workplace for our employees and reduce our environment impact.
  • ATEX  Products for hazardous our explosive environments are all manufactured under the strict requirements of the Quality Assurance Notification (QAN).


As a dedicated and reliable partner, we have provided advanced sensing solutions to the following agencies and businesses

  • SAIC
  • Sikorsky
  • Electric Boat
  • L3-COM
  • Northrop Grumman
  • ONR
  • NRL
  • NIST
  • Scripps Institute
  • WHOI
  • Naval Undersea Warfare Center, NJ
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center, PC
  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
  • University of Texas, Applied Research Lab
  • University of Pennsylvania, Applied Research Lab
  • University of Washington, Applied Research Lab