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A concept of ship propulsion by underwater pulsed high-voltage streamer discharge was proposed and has been examined by using anode pins as the propulsion unit of a ship model. The primary experiment proves that the underwater pulsed high-voltage streamer discharge can push the ship model to travel on the water. The maximum travelling speed of the ship model is 2.3 cm/s when propelled by three anode pins at 600-Hz pulse frequency. The propulsion force produced by a single anode pin is of millinewtons order of magnitude. It was found that the maximum travelling speed and the propulsion force could be significantly improved by increasing the number of the anode pins or the pulse frequency. The propulsion efficiency is of 10-7 order of magnitude and can be increased significantly by increasing the number of the anode pins. The most attractive feature of the ship propulsion by underwater pulsed high-voltage streamer discharge is that there is no need for a superconductor magnet. Additionally, the connection between the pulsed high-voltage streamer discharge thruster and the power supply is only by a cable, which can provide more freedom for the layout of the thruster on the ship.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013