Saturday, 26 January 2008

The Future of High Speed Marine Vehicles?

(Seabus-Hydaer new concept in maritime transport)

Several new high speed marine vehicle configurations have been developed during the last two decades, due to an increasing demand for such vehicles for civil and military marine transportation: planing craft, catamarans, Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH), Wave-Piercing Catamarans, Trimarans, Quadrimarans, Hydrofoil craft, Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs), Surface Effect Ships (SES), Wing in Ground effect vehicles (WIGs). Also hybrid concept do exist: Hydrofoil Small Waterplane Area Ship(HYSWAS), Hydrofoil Catamaran (HYCAT), Hydrofoil-Supported Catamaran (HYSUCAT). These are, generally, capable of carrying more payload both farther and faster.

For ”very high speed vehicles” (>50 kt), the aerodynamic forces can become of the same order of magnitude compared to hydrodynamic forces, especially for small vehicles (<10 tons). Although this can lead to stability issues in some cases, this can offer a new range of possibilities to sustain the weight of the craft. The high speed marine vehicles can be equipped with specifically designed aerodynamic surfaces and the aerodynamic lift can ”alleviate” the weight of the vehicle. This means less wet length, less hydrodynamic drag and less required power.

This is what I'm doing in my PhD: studying the dynamics of a vehicle with a novel configuration, hybrid between a Wing In Ground effect vehicles and a high speed marine craft. If someone is interested in the subject I would be more than happy to start a collaboration.

References

Meyer, J. R.; Clark, D. J. & Ellsworth, W. M., The Quest for Speed at Sea, Carderock Division, NSWC, 2004

Rozhdestvensky, K. V. , Wing-in-ground effect vehicles, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 2006, 1, 211-283

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