Naval Sea Systems Command

Hull Forms and Propulsors
This area provides the Navy's only technical capability for surface and undersea vehicle hull forms and propulsors. It supports all naval vehicles (surface ships, submarines, unmanned vehicles and craft) by developing the technologies for systems and procedures which define the external shape of the vehicle, control systems and control surfaces, and its propulsor interaction with the hull and its environment.

These systems are necessary to ensure that the performance of each platform meets mission requirements for controllability, mobility, seakeeping and propeller noise. These characteristics to a large part determine the safety, efficiency and affordability of the platform operation and contribute to its signature characteristics. This area requires extensive and highly specialized model testing facilities to support the development and validation of analytical tools.

Major functions:
  • Conduct hydrodynamics research, development, testing and evaluation.
  • Develop submerged operating envelopes and validate automatic maneuvering and depth control systems for submarines.
  • Develop high efficiency, low-noise and affordable integrated hull propulsor designs for ships, submarines and other vehicles that meet or exceed combat/weapon/sensor system interface requirements.
  • Review designs and concepts for hydromechanics adequacy and suitability for operational use and platform cost/performance trade-offs. Develop/validate advanced design and analysis tools for naval vehicles and propulsors.
  • Provide hydrodynamic support for towed arrays and systems including minesweeping. Conduct R&D in fluid dynamics and experimental techniques related to naval vehicles.
  • Validate and improve computational fluid dynamics codes for propulsor design, submarine maneuvering and fluid dynamics.
  • Support the investigation into the physics of non-acoustic signatures.
  • Maintain corporate knowledge and data base of hydrodynamic performance of fleet submarine maneuvering control behavior and ship performance characteristics.
  • Test and validate the hydrodynamic performance of new ship and submarine construction, modifications and advanced hull forms (e.g. SWATH's, UUV's, amphibious assault craft) for safety, sea keeping, signatures, maneuvering and control, resistance and powering.
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