Tags: air | bubble | submarine | china | supersonic

'Air Bubble' Submarine Pursued by China Would Be Supersonic

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 09:35 AM

The "air bubble" theory that would allow a submarine to move through the ocean at supersonic speed could be closer to reality through the work of Chinese scientists.

Called "supercavitating," the theory is being developed into new technology by scientists at the Harbin Institute of Technology's Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab, according to the South China Morning Post, and it could allow a submarine to reach supersonic speed underwater.

The "air bubble" technology would allow a submarine to travel from Shanghai to San Francisco in less than two hours, if the technology can actually be pulled off, according to the newspaper.

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"This technique was originally developed for Shakval, a torpedo capable of reaching 230 miles per hour developed by the Soviet Navy during the Cold War," wrote Omar Kardoudi, of the blog Sploid.

"The size of the bubble and the speed was limited. Now this new Chinese research claims they have found a way to generate a much bigger air bubble, drastically reducing friction of large underwater vessels. They say they would be able to create a full-size supercavitating submarine capable of reaching the speed of sound underwater," wrote Kardoudi.

Li Fengchen, the Harbin's Institute's professor of fluid machinery and engineering, told the Morning Post that his team's approach would create an "air bubble" required for rapid underwater travel.

"We are very excited by its potential," said Fenghen.

Fenghen explained that water creates friction and drag, but the theory of surrounding an object like a submarine with a bubble eliminates the friction problem the water causes. One of the major hurdles for the technology is that the vessel would have to be launched at a high speed to maintain the air bubble.

Scientists told the Morning Post said a second problem with the current technology is that that the bubble cannot be maintained if it is steered in any direction, meaning it can only be directed in a straight line and not guided to a particular direction.

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The "air bubble" theory that would allow a submarine to move through the ocean at supersonic speed could be closer to reality through the work of Chinese scientists.
air, bubble, submarine, china, supersonic
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2014-35-27
Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 09:35 AM
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