A Bio-Inspired Delayed Stall Propulsor for Enhanced Thrust and Reduced Noise

Period of Performance: 09/04/2003 - 09/04/2005


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue Array
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator


The proposed Phase II effort develops a bio-inspired delay stall propulsor (BDSP) concept employing delayed stall unsteady lift enhancement to increase the lift on propeller blades without adding any complexity to the propulsor. The approach is simple to manufacture, rugged, and easy to retrofit into existing designs. In Phase I, preliminary 2D simulations demonstrating concept feasibility have shown at least a 36% reduction in rotational speed at constant thrust and at least an estimated 4 db reduction in the total radiated acoustic power. The proposed Phase II effort will design, fabricate, and water tunnel test a + scale technology demonstrator to provide a hardware demonstration of BDSP thrust enhancement and develop the necessary BDSP design technology for prototype development. The proposed Phase II options will tailor the BDSP concept for the target torpedo platform with the design, fabrication and water tunnel testing of a prototype torpedo propulsor. A key element of this prototype test is demonstration of potential acoustic signature reduction of the BDSP concept. This prototype test will provide the engineering database for rapid Phase III transition of this technology to the Navy fleet. This BDSP concept can provide greatly increased propeller thrust for a given propeller diameter leading to both increased speed and/or maneuverability. This technology has direct application to torpedoes, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), maneuvering thrusters, submarines, and other propeller driven devices. Alternately, this technology offers reduced radiated noise while maintaining current thrust levels through both reduction in propulsor rotation speed and acoustic cancellation, which has direct application to torpedo and submarine acoustic signature reduction. In addition, this thrust enhancement technology has much broader applications in the development of high performance axial pumps, fans and compressors, offering the potential for much higher-pressure ratio devices with a reduction in moving parts. This technology has the potential for reducing the size, increasing performance, reducing radiated noise, and reducing cost of a wide range of pump systems and air handling system.