Mirjam Furth, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, was recently awarded a grant of $509,909 from the Office of Naval Research. Her project, entitled “Further Insight into the Hydrodynamic Phenomena Influencing Motions, Dynamics Loads and Performance of High-Speed Craft in a Seaway,” will explore how model scale towing tank testing can shed light on some key flow mechanisms that underly the hydrodynamics associated with high-speed crafts (HSCs) —that is, high-speed water vessels for civilian use, such as ferries.
The flow field around a HSC is complicated, with the hull acting as a lifting surface that in turn causes unique flow phenomena and loads. In her project, Furth will use model-scale towing tank testing to illuminate some key flow mechanisms that underly the hydrodynamics associated with HSCs in both calm waters and rough seas. She aims to fill in gaps in the knowledge of these systems by further developing numerical models to a higher degree of applicability to HSCs.
In her previous work, Furth found that using deflectors or rails can improve calm water performance, and that the location and shape of spray deflectors is paramount to their success. To address the difficulty in capturing slamming loads and to better understand how they affect the hull structure, Furth will test a segmented backbone beam hull to quantify the global bending moment and local slamming pressure. This work will provide insights into the role that hull rigidity plays in the performance of HSCs in rough seas.
Furth’s project will contribute to the better design of HSCs, as well as a better understanding of the fundamental flow physics around these crafts, while also creating validation sets. Upon project completion, the Navy, private stakeholders, and the broader research community will gain an improved understanding of factors that affect the performance, safety, seaworthiness, and structural integrity of HSCs.