A series of model tests was conducted recently at the high-speed NUWC/NASA Langley seawater tow tank in order to assess the effectiveness of a microbubble drag reduction system on a surface effect ship (SES) model. The SES model used is a shirtless, dual-pontoon hull with an air cavity on 60% of each demi-hull and runs with a large drag decrease when compared to a slender mono-hull. The model has a limited wetted area when cavity riding; these surfaces were outfitted with injectors for microbubbles. Independent variables included model speed, cavity airflow rate, and microbubble flow rate with total drag force the dependent variable. It was found that the microbubble injection can reduce the total resistance of an SES model by up to 17%.

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