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Hydrodynamics Related to Subsurface Vehicles (SSV)

Work in these areas supports the Navy’s interest in advanced sea platform performance science and technology, submarine science and technology, and naval engineering. Emphasis is on basic fluid dynamics research with active development and implementation of promising research and tools into the fleet via Navy laboratories and University-Affiliated Research Centers.

This research benefits the Navy warfighter through the development of basic and applied fluid dynamics knowledge, models, and computational tools utilized for safer SSV operations over an expanded mission space in a real ocean environment. The goal is to reduce risk at the operational level to allow mission planners and SSV operators to make fully informed decisions based on tools that encompass all relevant fluid dynamic phenomena.

Research Concentration Areas

  • Maneuvering and Control: Development of novel methodologies for improving SSV maneuvering prediction capabilities; development of novel control theories and algorithms for improving control of SSV with emphasis on low speed operations and near surface depth keeping.
  • SSV Wakes: Development of state-of-the-art (SOTA) computational SSV wake prediction tools that take into account the temporal and spatial variations of the real ocean environment. Novel experimental methodologies and theoretical constructs for understanding basic SSV wake physics and scaling laws.
  • Non-equilibrium and Rough-wall Turbulence: Turbulence modeling/understanding related to flows with adverse pressure gradients and separation in order to build a consistent description of the structure of wall-bounded turbulence across a wide range of realistic and dynamically complicated flow fields — specifically related to the change in the structure of boundary layer turbulence when the flow departs from equilibrium.
  • Laminar to Turbulent Transition (LTT): SOTA experiments to elucidate the basic physics of transitional flows for practical geometries, surface conditions, and ambient flows. Development of novel LTT models.
  • Hydro-Acoustics: Development of incompressible and compressible flow computational and experimental approaches to further the understanding of turbulent flow-induced forcing via wall pressure fluctuations and quadrupole turbulence-turbulence interactions in increasingly complex geometries and flow conditions.

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • Development of novel SSV maneuvering devices for low speed control authority. Development of PID controllers for low-speed and/or near surface maneuvering including the development of practical CFD methodologies that accurately simulate the relevant low speed hydrodynamics.
  • Development of turbulence- and wall-models for RANS, DES and LES for three-dimensional, incompressible, non-equilibrium turbulent boundary layers and separated flows for smoothly varying hull geometries operating at low speeds and large drift angles; including the effect of hull roughness. Utilization of data-driven methods in conjunction with novel mathematical constructs to develop robust, practical and comprehensive models from turbulence simulations and well-resolved experimental databases
  • Development and utilization of computational and experimental approaches that enhance basic physical understanding of the hydrodynamic effects of hull roughness due to manufacturing imperfections and biofouling. The translation of this knowledge into predictive correlations that relate geometrical parameters to equivalent sand grain roughness heights with extensions to non-homogenous and sparse roughness distributions.

UPDATED: November 2020

How to Submit

For detailed application and submission information for this research topic, please refer to our broad agency announcement (BAA) No. N00014-22-S-B001.

Contracts: All white papers and full proposals for contracts must be submitted through FedConnect; instructions are included in the BAA.

Grants: All white papers for grants must be submitted through FedConnect, and full proposals for grants must be submitted through; instructions are included in the BAA.


Chang, Peter Dr.
Program Officer
Code 331