The use of computational fluid dynamics to aid cost-effective hydrodynamic design of autonomous underwater vehicles

Phillips, A.B., Turnock, S.R. and Furlong, M. (2010) The use of computational fluid dynamics to aid cost-effective hydrodynamic design of autonomous underwater vehicles. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment, 224, (4), 239-254. (doi:10.1243/14750902JEME199).


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The missions being proposed for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), by both marine scientists and industry, are becoming increasingly complex and challenging. In order to meet these demands the next generation of AUVs will need to be faster, to operate for longer durations, and to be more manoeuvrable than existing vehicles. It is therefore vital that the hydrodynamic forces and moments acting on a self-propelled manoeuvring AUV can be predicted accurately at the initial design stage. In order to achieve this, the use of a computational-fluid-dynamics-based analysis is suggested. The approaches developed are predominantly steady state and suitable for running on a workstation personal computer using a commercial software licence. It is estimated that the proposed simulations would take a competent user less than 1 month for a new concept design. The total cost of these simulations is significantly lower than the cost of building a model and having it commercially tested to capture the same level of detail for the resistance, propulsion, and manoeuvring performance. Based on the validation studies presented, it is estimated that on a 2×106 element structured mesh a competent user should be able to predict hydrodynamic forces to within at least 10 per cent and moments to within 20 per cent of in-service performance.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1243/14750902JEME199
Additional Information: Non-functioning DOI queried 20 Aug 2013
ISSNs: 1475-0902 (print)
2041-3084 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
V Naval Science > VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > National Oceanography Centre (NERC)
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences
National Oceanography Centre (NERC) > Ocean Technology and Engineering
ePrint ID: 172039
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2011 10:49
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:32

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