Improving the energy efficiency of the fleet continues to be a critical economic and operational goal for the U.S. Navy. Reduced ship energy consumption reduces life-cycle costs, improves endurance, and improves war-fighting effectiveness. The opportunity to make these improvements is in the early stages of design saves later rework during the expensive detail design stage where it is often too late to make meaningful changes. Even modest resources invested at the early concept and preliminary design stages can pay outsized rewards in total ownership cost.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTATIONAL TOOLS
TRAINING, TECH SUPPORT & FEEDBACK
ENGINEERING LIGHTWEIGHT INFLATABLE STRUCTURES
Development of Computational Tools
Navatek, Ltd. is executing a four-tiered approach to integrating physics-based computational tools into the Navy standard design environment. The first tier is focused on developing new features and capabilities that are not available to Navy ship designers. The second tier expands validation and improves the computational robustness of these tools so they will operate accurately and reliably. Under the third tier robust and validated features and capabilities are integrated into the Navy standard design environment. The fourth tier provides follow-on maintenance of the new tools, ensuring they remain relevant to Navy ship design needs.
(Photos courtesy of Navatek)
Navatek is applying this process to two computational tools: AEGIR, a medium-fidelity potential flow code for steady-state resistance and time-domain seakeeping analysis; and NavADE, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) visualization and design tool for examining large data sets.
The figure shows the development of GUI: Scroll Area tabs and Tab Scroll bar.
Training, Technical Support and Feedback
Navatek is developing interaction with end-users of the computational tools to ensure that new features and capabilities are relevant and useful, to obtain vital feedback on their performance, and to socialize their acceptance.
Navatek is also collaborating with the Center for Innovation in Ship Design (CISD) at Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division (NSWC-CD) to provide direct on-site technical support to CISD design efforts using Navatek tools, including AEGIR workshops for new users. Moreover, the company is also visiting leading universities engaged in naval engineering education and research to identify areas of interest for developing future tool capabilities. Workshops are organized to expose faculty and students to Navatek’s hydrodynamic analysis and ship design tools.
(Photos courtesy of Navatek)
Engineering lightweight inflatable structures
The ability to engineer lightweight inflatable structures has been limited by a lack of inflatable shapes that are suitable for structural assemblies. Drop-stitch fabrics, which can be used to create stiff flat assemblies, offer a solution to this problem. Navatek is leveraging work performed under a separate NAVSEA-funded effort, and the capabilities of a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled loom, to expand the potential for using drop-stitch fabrics as components in inflatable structures.
The effort is focused in four areas: 1) fabric design and production, 2) computational and analytical modeling of inflated panels, 3) testing for model validation and understanding of failures modes, and 4) panel construction.