The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Sonarsphere
Underwater, a submarine uses sonar to sense what is around them — just like a whale. Hydrophones are a submarine's underwater ears. A sonarsphere holds 1,245 hydrophones.

A sonarsphere is a mammoth, dimpled steel ball, 15'x15'x 21' in diameter, weighing 27 tons. To avoid picking up sounds inside the boat, the sonarsphere is positioned as far away from the boat's regular noise as possible. A sonarsphere would be found in the bow of an attack submarine.

Our sonarsphere is the first Lukens Steel product to return home to the National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum in Coatesville. It was originally manufactured at Lukens Steel in 1984 and designed for use on nuclear submarines. Our sonarsphere was donated to us by Government Liquidation of Scottsdale, Arizona. They are the leading global seller of U.S. military assets in over 500 different commodity categories.

Lukens Steel delivered sonarspheres to the U.S. Navy on a special trailer called a Low-Boy. A similar Low-Boy brought this sphere from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine to Coatesville. After a winding journey (to avoid certain bridges, tunnels and overpasses) through seven states it arrived on November 1, 2007. Wm. F. Gaebel Trucking Company handled the transport. Transport fees were donated by The Huston Foundation and other donors.

The sonarsphere is located behind the Lukens Exucutive Office Building.