Fluid Cloaking for Submarines

by brian lam

Scientists are working on a mesh cloak for underwater vehicles that can reduce the wake and drag created by submarines and drones. What I’m trying to say is that, speaking with a lot of optimism, these people are working on invisible, super efficient submarines.

It sounds crazy but they plan to use a “screen door” of sorts with a shape that affects the water moving around and behind a vehicle as to minimize the disturbance in the water. Aside from being harder to detect, such machines could be much more efficient than subs we use today. The researchers say the larger and faster a vehicle is going, the harder it will be to pull off such a feat, making development for something like a military submarine years and years away. The least plausible thing I read in the article on New Scientist was the use of millimeter sized pumps to direct the flow. First of all, pumps that small would have to be operating at astounding cycles to move current in the order of knots. And second of all, pumps that small would not like any of the myriad debris found in our oceans, man made or natural (krill, plankton, etc).

*new scientist, ScienceMag*

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