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Cruising digital ships on electronic seas

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1 Author(s)
Lewin, D.I. ; Silver Spring, MD, USA

Naval architects now use a different kind of ship model, a hydrodynamic computer simulation, to design faster, quieter, or more economically efficient ships for the world's navies, merchant marines, and cruise lines. A leader in the use of computers to determine the hydrodynamic behavior of surface and undersea craft is the US Navy's David Taylor Model Ship Basin, part of the Naval Surface Warfare Command's Carderock Division. The Model Basin has some of the world's finest facilities for hydrodynamic testing of scale model ships, including a 3000 foot-long towing tank. It is here, and in other specialized test facilities, that ship designs are tested, much as aircraft designs are tested in a wind tunnel. Where once designers would build and test the flow around 15 or so wood-laminate scale models of a warship before deciding on a final design, the tow-tank measurements are now mostly used to validate hydrodynamic computer codes. In designing the new Arleigh Burke class destroyer, the designers built and tested only five models. At the same time, the designers evaluated more than 50 design variants using computer models digital ships cruising on electronic seas

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 5 )