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Monday, August 25, 2014

Rudderless control could bring supersonic submarines from sci-fi to reality

Skval torpedoChinese scientists are studying the applications of supercavitation to propel large bodies underwater at high speed. A team of scientists at the Harbin institute of Technology’s Complex Flow and Heat Transfer lab headed by Prof. Li Fengchen has come up with a new approach to create an ‘air bubble’ required for rapid underwater travel.

“We are very excited by its potential” Prof. Fengchen said, explaining that the unique attributes of the team’s new concept is the ability to control the vessel within the air bubble, without a rudder.

Lack of steering and control has limited the application of this concept to unmanned bodies such as torpedoes, that were fired in a straight line because they had limited ability to turn. “Our method is different from any other approach, such as vector propulsion or thrust created by an engine” Li said.

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