Effect of cavitator on supercavitating vehicle dynamics

Hamid Mokhtarzadeh, Gary Balas, Roger Arndt

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24 Scopus citations


In this paper, a linear mathematical model of a supercavitating vehicle is developed to investigate some of the physical factors affecting stability and control. This model provides a link between the simulation dynamics and the assumed physical vehicle characteristics. In this paper, the static and dynamic stability of the pitch plane dynamics of the vehicle is considered and the effect of cavitator shapes, namely a disk cavitator, a 45° cone, and a 15° cone on the vehicle stability, is determined. All three cavitator shapes resulted in unstable vehicles when operating in nonplaning conditions, with the disk cavitator the least destabilizing. Neglecting the small tangential forces on the disk cavitator is confirmed to be reasonable, but in general, the vehicle static stability characteristics depend on the cavitator tangential forces. The vehicle mathematical model uses static experimental data of hydrodynamic coefficients for the disk cavitator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6151218
Pages (from-to)156-165
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 06, 2010; revised April 26, 2011; accepted November 16, 2011. Date of publication February 10, 2012; date of current version April 13, 2012. This work was supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research under Contract N00014-09-1-0141 (Dr. R. Joslin is the contract monitor). Associate Editor: F. S. Hover. The authors are with the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55414 USA (e-mail: mokh0006@umn.edu; balas@aem.umn.edu; arndt001@umn.edu). Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JOE.2011.2177689 Fig. 1. Example of supercavitation observed in the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory water tunnel.


  • Cavitator
  • control
  • high-speed underwater vehicles
  • supercavitation


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