Experimental confirmation of the propulsion of marine vessels employing guided flexural waves in attached elastic fins

2013-03-04T12:54:09Z (GMT) by Victor V. Krylov Gareth V. Pritchard
This paper describes the results of the first experimental verification of the idea of wave-like aquatic propulsion of manned marine vessels first published by one of the present authors (V.V.K.) in 1994. The idea is based on employing the unique type of guided flexural elastic waves propagating along edges of immersed wedge-like structures attached to a body of a small ship or a submarine as keels or wings and used for the propulsion. The principle of employing such guided flexural waves as a source of aquatic propulsion is similar to that used in nature by stingrays. It is vitally important for the application of this idea to manned vessels that, in spite of vibration of the fins, the main body of the craft remains undisturbed as the energy of guided elastic waves is concentrated away from it. The main expected advantages of this new propulsion method over the existing ones, e.g. jets and propellers, are the following: it is quiet, and it is environmentally friendly and safe for people and wildlife. To