Background: In this paper, we present a completely new type of propulsion system where
thrust force is created by the helicoidal shape of the hull rather than screw propellers. The method and
device have been recently patented. The inspiration comes from nature, the world of bacteria, where
some organisms have been using the drilling motion or rotating flagella to move in fluid media for several
million years. The hull of device consists of three parts – bow and stern (which create the propulsion
force) and the middle part which can serve as a cargo compartment containing all control mechanisms
and communications. The Cardan-joint mechanism that allows changing the direction of the vehicle
is actuated by bending drives. A bending drive velocity control algorithm is proposed for the automatic
control of vehicle movement direction.
Objective: Development of a new propulsion system for underwater vehicles.
Methods: The watercraft dynamics were simulated using multibody simulation software MSC Adams.
For accurate interaction with medium, polynomial metamodels were created on the basis of computer
experiments with CFD software. Computational Fluid Dynamics software was used for flow interaction
with the prototype geometry, implementing the same idea that is used in wind tunnel experiments.
Results and Conclusion: The results are compared with measurements of the physical prototype, built
at the Institute of Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering of Riga Technical University. These results
showed good validation with mathematical simulation and confirmed the effectiveness and future potential
of the proposed principle.