In the present study, the drag-reducing effect of sprayed superhydrophobic surfaces (SHSs) is determined for two external turbulent boundary layer (TBL) flows. We infer the modification of skin friction created beneath TBLs using near-wall laser Doppler velocity measurements for a series of tailored SHSs. Measurements of the near-wall Reynolds stresses were used to infer reduction in skin friction between 8% and 36% in the channel flow. The best candidate SHS was then selected for application on a towed submersible body with a SUBOFF profile. The SHS was applied to roughly 60% of the model surface over the parallel midbody of the model. The measurements of the towed resistance showed an average decrease in the overall resistance from 2% to 12% depending on the speed and depth of the towed model, which suggests a SHS friction drag reduction of 4-24% with the application of the SHS on the model. The towed model results are consistent with the expected drag reduction inferred from the measurements of a near-zero pressure gradient TBL channel flow.

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