The Patrol Boat, Multimission Project
An ambitious application of our modeling of flow in form for this design for a U S Navy “Patrol Boat Multimission.“ The requirement was for a stealthy boat for special forces, with a “mission module“ that could be separately engineered, outfitted and hot swapped. The primary requirement was low observability in two areas: reduction of the radar profile (including generated mist) and of the sound profile by hull/wave/screw interaction.
Our solution was a planing hull, normally the worst approach, and for high speeds (and agility) rather impractical in any case. The innovation was a flexible portion of the hull, controlled by a fine grid of microactuators. These sensed the fine-grained behavior of the fluid (using sensors and our situational awareness models) and immediately reconfiguring the local geometry of the hull and/or pulsing the boundary. The effect can be optimized for speed, low observables, or crew comfort.
The basic theory derived from understanding of fluid boundaries from the soft model proof-of-concept studies for the wind turbine problem. Here, the input was stochastic and the calculation of the form in real time. Issues of controlling the actuators were an interesting but unrelated problem.