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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Application of a Maneuvering Propulsor Technology to Undersea Vehicles

[+] Author and Article Information
Stephen A. Huyer

Naval Undersea Warfare Center,
Code 8233, Building 1302/2,
Newport, RI 02841
e-mail: stephen.huyer@navy.mil

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received October 17, 2012; final manuscript received September 13, 2013; published online October 15, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Meng Wang.This material is declared a work of the US Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Fluids Eng 136(1), 011103 (Oct 15, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: FE-12-1520; doi: 10.1115/1.4025460 History: Received October 17, 2012; Revised September 13, 2013

Previous computational and experimental studies that have demonstrated a method to generate vehicle maneuvering forces from a propulsor alone have been applied to a generic undersea vehicle. An open, preswirl propulsor was configured with an upstream stator row and downstream rotor. During normal operation, the upstream stator blades are all situated at the same pitch angle and preswirl the flow into the propulsor while generating a roll moment to counter the torque produced by the rotor. By varying the pitch angles of the stator blade about the circumference, it is possible to generate a mean stator side force that can be used to maneuver the vehicle. The stator wake axial velocity and swirl that is ingested into the rotor produces a counter-force by the rotor. Optimal design of the rotor minimizes the unsteady force and redirects the rotor force vector in an orthogonal direction to minimize the counter force. The viscous, 3D Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) commercial code FLUENT® was used to predict the stator forces, velocity fields, and rotor response. Radiated noise was computed for the rotor separately and the entire geometry utilizing the Ffowcs Williams–Hawkings module available in FLUENT. Two separate geometries were studied—the first with a maximum stator blade row diameter contained within the body diameter and a second that was allowed to exceed the body diameter. Side force coefficients were computed for the two maneuvering propulsor configurations and compared with currently used control surface forces. Computations predicted that the maneuvering propulsor generated side forces equivalent to those produced by conventional control surfaces with side force coefficients on the order of 0.3. This translates to 50% larger forces than can be generated by conventional control surfaces on 21 in. unmanned undersea vehicles. Radiated noise calculations in air demonstrated that the total sound pressure levels produced by the maneuvering propulsor were on the order of 5 dB lower than the control fin test cases.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Maneuvering propulsor concept

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Fig. 2

CFD predictions (lines) and experimental results (symbols) of the total (rotor, stator, and body) force and moment coefficients for a baseline open and ducted propulsor

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Fig. 3

NUWC Light control surface configuration

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Fig. 4

NUWC Light test vehicle afterbody and maneuvering propulsor (including optimized rotor) for small and large diameter preswirl stator configurations

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Fig. 5

Computational model highlighting the full solution and local stator/rotor surface meshes

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Fig. 6

Rotor and stator volume meshes for the LD configuration

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Fig. 7

Axial velocity contour plots in the y-z plane between the stator and rotor blade rows looking upstream for the small diameter and large diameter configurations for A = 9 deg and control fins at a 9 deg pitch angle. No rotor case.

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Fig. 8

Tangential velocity contour plots in the y-z plane between the stator and rotor blade rows looking upstream for the small diameter and large diameter configurations for A = 9 deg and control fins at a 9 deg pitch angle. No rotor case.

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Fig. 9

Axial velocity contour plots in the y-z plane between the stator and rotor blade rows looking upstream; large diameter configuration for A = 9 deg with and without an operational rotor

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Fig. 10

Axial and tangential velocity distributions in the circumferential direction for the large diameter stator row and A = 0 deg comparing the no-rotor and rotor test cases

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Fig. 11

Axial and tangential velocity distributions in the circumferential direction for the small D and large D stator rows at A = 9 deg and for the control fin case at 9 deg pitch angle. r/Rrotor = 0.5

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Fig. 12

Axial and tangential velocity distributions in the circumferential direction for the small D and large D stator rows at A = 9 deg and for the control fin case at 9 deg pitch angle. r/Rrotor = 0.75

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Fig. 13

Axial and tangential velocity distributions in the circumferential direction for the small D and large D stator rows at A = 9 deg and for the control fin case at 9 deg pitch angle. r/Rrotor = 1.0

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Fig. 14

Axial force breakdown for a small and large diameter maneuvering propulsor

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Fig. 15

Side (y) force breakdown for a small and large diameter maneuvering propulsor

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Fig. 16

Orthogonal (z) force breakdown for a small and large diameter maneuvering propulsor

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Fig. 17

Unsteady rotor axial and side (y) forces for the large diameter maneuvering propulsor

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Fig. 18

Power amplitudes associated with the first blade rate for axial and side (y) force coefficient data derived from power spectral analysis relative to the small D, A = 0 case

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Fig. 19

Relative sound pressure levels associated with the first blade rate relative to the small D, A = 0 case

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Fig. 20

Relative total sound pressure levels associated for the rotor contribution and entire geometry relative to the small D, A = 0 case

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