Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Super Stealth Submarine -- Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife!

[Intel Source: Eagle1] Here's an article that follows up a previous report of a DARPA project that speculates that new acoustic energy-absorbing "metamaterials" could render submarines "invisible" to sonar. Excerpt:
The researchers tested their cloak’s ability to hide a steel cylinder. They submerged the cylinder in a tank with an ultrasound source on one side and a sensor array on the other, then placed the cylinder inside the cloak and watched it disappear from their sonar. Curious to see if the hidden object’s structure played a role in the cloaking phenomenon, the researchers conducted trials with other objects of various shapes and densities. “The structure of what you’re trying to hide doesn’t matter,” Fang said. “The effect is similar. After we placed the cloaked structure around the object we wanted to hide, the scattering or shadow effect was greatly reduced.” The geometry is not theoretically scaled with wavelengths.
I'm glad DARPA is working on stuff like this; in case there is a possible breakthrough in areas like this, I'd much rather that we make it. As far as the possibility that this material could be used to "hide" submarines, however, I see a couple of obvious problems: 1) I doubt that you could make a material of this nature retain its characteristics while expanding and contracting with the submarine's hull as it changes depth, and 2) the frequency range mentioned in the article doesn't seem that relevant for ASW.

When discussing this article, please don't mention any actual frequency ranges of interest.

[Here's another article on a potential new Navy breakthrough. This one involves skimmers with laser beams on their decks.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can this material also be used to make Mulligan Disappear? Just Sayn

1/21/2011 8:08 AM

Anonymous ssnret said...

If it masks the sound of the DOC snoring or the commode seat slamming it might have some use.

1/21/2011 8:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People would be surprised to see what is being tested out there.

The goal of course is to make the threat of enemy submarines go away. The other goal is to keep this technology from our enemies and we know this always works right?

As R&D continues with breakthroughs, look for more UUV technology to replace today's old school submarines.

The bottom line is that people are expensive and labor intensive. Time to eliminate the human in today's shrinking fiscal environment.

Yippee...another submariner's dream come true...field day will be no more! Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.

1/22/2011 10:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Antoine take over for BH in initiating this topic?

1/22/2011 9:26 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I will always use any occasion I can to make an Antoine Dodson reference.

1/23/2011 5:22 AM

Blogger Guy said...

I agree with your concern about expansion and contraction on a relatively brittle material or a complex mechanical structure composed of different materials with potentially different compression characteristics.

I do think a material like this could be used to create an acoustic shielding superstructure that has water on both sides and surrounds the actual pressure hull. That would mitigate the effect of expansion and contraction while preserving the acoustic shield.

1/23/2011 11:25 AM

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10/04/2011 9:44 AM


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