Rants, Raves, Reviews


Supercavitation

By Gary R, in , posted: 5-Apr-2006 13:01

Last Friday Iran test fired what is claimed to be the worlds fastest underwater torpedo. With a top speed of 360Km they are probably right! It is unguided with the theory that due to the awesome top speed it doesn't need a guidance system. A large lumbering submarine or ship would simply be unable to react in time plus they tend to be big targets negating the need for too much accuracy. Obviously the Americans will not be to happy about this latest addition to the Iranian arsenal given that most of the US 5th fleet is currently parked up in the gulf.
Which brings me to supercavitation. This is the term used to describe the method of making under water vehicles go faster. Apparently up to 70% of the underwater drag is attributed to skin friction. The idea around supercavitation is to accelerate water over a sharp edge (torpedo nose) to drop the pressure surrounding the torpedo to a point below the pressure of the surrounding water. In other words shroud the torpedo with a gas cavity to reduce friction and drag. Some of the nose is in contact with the water but the rest of the torpedo is in contact with only gas.
I can understand why the Americans are not happy but they might also be a slightly peeved because the theory of supercavitation was developed in the '60's by fellow American - Dr Marshall Tulin. Developed by Americans but perfected by the Russians which is possibly where the Iranians got it from.
It is an awesome technology, I want it and I have already come up with my own application. A personal transport called a SPUV - Supercavitating Personal Underwater Vehicle. The question is are we responsible enough to have a SPUV - look at the all the jet ski accidents!


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Permalink to Supercavitation | Add a comment (4 comments) | Main Index




Comment by chiefie, on 5-Apr-2006 13:11

as long as you don't use it at Piha. hehe


Comment by tonyhughes, on 5-Apr-2006 13:24

and i thought supercavitation occured when you drank too much coca cola!!


Comment by bradstewart, on 6-Apr-2006 20:40

For the record: 1. Iranian boasts cannot be trusted, they are well knwn to over exagerate their so called advances. The torpedo will be lucky if it does over 80. They like to "strike fear into the hearts of the immoral capitalist pigs" or whatever the latest insult is. 2. American torpedo technology is so far ahead of anything Russia or even Iran could ever hope to produce that its ridiculous


Comment by juha, on 6-Apr-2006 20:52

This could be the thing to cut down on commuting times between the North Shore and Auckland...


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Gary R
Wellington
New Zealand


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