BB1 Generic submarine © MARIN
General information
MARIN has been working on the use of CFD for Submarines since 2004. Generally, CFD is used in the same way as PMM experiments, i.e. to obtain the forces and moments on the hull as a function of the manoeuvring motion. This technique is sometimes called Virtual Captive Test. The results of the CFD calculations can then be used in fast-time simulation programs (such as SUBSIM, see here) to simulate all kinds of desired manoeuvres. This capability leads to a considerable improvement in manoeuvring predictions compared to predictions based on empirical formulae alone.

Apart from predicting the forces on submarines, CFD is also used to study the flow, such as for instance to predict the wake field or generation of vortices. With this information, possibilities for design improvements or implications of design choices can be derived.

During the years, CFD has been used to compute the forces and moments on a several submarines, such as the DARPA SUBOFF submarine (AFF-1 and AFF-8), the Walrus and Astute class submarines and the Joubert or BB1 generic submarine.

Example study
On the walrus class submarine, ReFRESCO was used to study the impact of a change in the masts and bridge opening configuration. By visualising the flow and computing the forces and moment for straight ahead as well as for manoeuvring motion, recommendations for changes and improvements in the design were made.

Example of calculation of flow around Walrus sail (left: open bridge, middle: closed bridge, right: raised masts) © MARIN

Comparison example SUBOFF AFF-8 wakefield © MARIN
Verification and Validation
To ensure the quality of our work, regular verification and validation studies are performed and detailed comparisons between CFD and experimental results are made. In the figure on the left, an example comparison between wake field measurements for the DARPA SUBOFF (conducted by Naval Surface Warface Center Carderock Division) and the wake field obtained with CFD is shown. The possibility of using CFD, in this case ReFRESCO, for predicting the flow around submarines is clearly demonstrated.

The work on CFD for Submarines has resulted in the following PhD thesis, which includes ample verification and validation studies for benchmark test cases:

Practical Application of Viscous-flow Calculations for the Simulation of Manoeuvring Ships
Toxopeus, S.L., PhD-thesis Delft University of Technology, 2011

More on submarines
If you want to know more about submarine work at MARIN, see here...

Most recent papers on CFD for Submarines presented by MARIN
(complete overview of publications can be found under Publications)

Modelling of the Plume of a Submerged Exhaust System
Klapwijk, M., Rotte, G., Kerkvliet, M. and Van Terwisga, T., 20th Numerical Towing Tank Symposium (NuTTS), Wageningen, The Netherlands, 2017

CFD Simulations and Experiments of a Maneuvering Generic Submarine and Prognosis for Simulation of Near Surface Operation
Carrica, P.M., Kerkvliet, M., Quadvlieg, F.H.H.A., Pontarelli, M., Martin, J.E., 31st Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics (ONR), Monterey, CA, 2016

Improvement Of Resistance And Wake Field Of An Underwater Vehicle By Optimising The Fin-Body Junction Flow With CFD
Toxopeus, S.L., Kuin, R.W.J., Kerkvliet, M., Hoeijmakers, H. and Nienhuis, B., OMAE ASME 33rd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, San Francisco, CA, 2014

Influence on the Numerical Uncertainty of a Generic Submarine Model by Changing the Wall-Normal Distribution of the Wall-Bounded Grid Cells
Kerkvliet, M., 16th Numerical Towing Tank Symposium (NuTTS), Müllheim, Germany, 2013

Collaborative CFD Exercise for a Submarine in a Steady Turn
Toxopeus, S.L., Atsavapranee, P., Wolf, E., Daum, S., Pattenden, R., Widjaja, R., Zhang, J.T. and Gerber, A.G., OMAE ASME 31st International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2012

Calculation of bottom clearance effects on Walrus submarine hydrodynamics
Bettle, M.C., Toxopeus, S.L. and Gerber, A.G., International Shipbuilding Progress, 2010

Calculation Of Manoeuvring Forces On Submarines Using Two Viscous-Flow Solvers
Vaz, G.N.V.B., Toxopeus, S.L. and Holmes, S., OMAE ASME 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Shanghai, 2010

Calculation Of Current Or Manoeuvring Forces Using A Viscous-Flow Solver
Toxopeus, S.L. and Vaz, G.N.V.B., OMAE ASME 28th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Honolulu, 2009

Viscous-flow calculations for bare hull DARPA SUBOFF submarine at incidence
Toxopeus, S.L., International Shipbuilding Progress, 2008

For more information on how MARIN can help your organisation with CFD for Submarines, please contact the Manoeuvring Department.

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