A Hardware Demonstration of Control Methods and Devices for a High-Speed Supercavitating Torpedo

Period of Performance: 08/11/2005 - 12/14/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Barron Assoc., Inc.
Principal Investigator


A high-speed supercavitating torpedo is an advanced weapons concept under consideration by the US Navy. Supercavitation is a state in which a gas cavity substantially encompasses a body immersed in a liquid, and the consequence for underwater bodies is a marked drag reduction over the non-wetted surface. This can be exploited to develop rapid reaction defensive weapons that provide tactical advantages for submarines, particularly for close-aboard, shallow water engagements addressed by the Littoral Antisubmarine Warfare Future Naval Capability. Alternatively, the technology can also yield a target vehicle for the US Navy to train sailors and develop countermeasures against high-speed weapons fielded by other navies. Control systems (algorithms and devices) are critical-path technologies to exploit the full potential of these vehicles, and Barron Associates and NextGen Aeronautics propose a collaborative Phase II program to increase the technology readiness level of the adaptive control laws, tail-fin micropump actuators, and the integrated concept. This is accomplished through an R&D program that (i) matures Phase I adaptive control algorithms and fin micropump hardware subsystems, (ii) ports the embedded control program to a real-time processor, (iii) conducts hardware-in-the-loop testing of the integrated control system, and (iv) validates the design in a set of water-tunnel demonstrations.