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Investigation into the flow field around a maneuvering submarine using a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes code Open Access

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The accurate and efficient prediction of hydrodynamic forces and moments on a maneuvering submarine has been achieved by investigating the flow physics involving the interaction of the vortical flow shed from the sail and the cross-flow boundary layer of the hull. In this investigation, a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computer code is used to simulate the most important physical effects related to maneuvering. It is applied to a generic axisymmetric body with the relatively simple case of the flow around an unappended hull at an angle of attack. After the code is validated for this simple case, it is validated for the case of a submarine with various appendages attached to the hull moving at an angle of drift. All six components of predicted forces and moments for various drift angles are compared with experimental data. Calculated pressure coefficients along the azimuthal angle are compared with experimental data and discussed to show the effect of the sail and the stern appendages. To understand the main flow features for a submarine in a straight flight, the RANS code is applied to simulate SUBOFF axisymmetric body at zero angle of attack in a straight-line basin. Pressure coefficient, skin friction coefficient, mean velocity components and the Reynolds shear stresses are compared with experimental data and discussed. The physical aspects of the interaction between the vortical flow shed by the sail and the cross-flow boundary layer on the hull are explained in greater detail. The understanding of this interaction is very important to characterize accurately the hydrodynamic behavior of a maneuvering submarine.

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