The majority of thrusters used for the position control of tethered underwater vehicles have asymmetric propulsion characteristics. This paper presents the results of a hydrodynamic design optimisation of a bi-directional integrated thruster. A surface panel method using the perturbation potential method of Morino was used for the optimisation. The model was validated with experimental data giving good agreement. Two versions of the prototype thruster have now been built and tested In this paper details are given of the design optimisation process for the next generation of thruster for use on a work class Remotely Operated Vehicle. A 2-D potential code coupled with integral boundary layer equations has been used to derive an optimum blade section shape for equal performance in both directions. Using the derived sections the complete thruster was optimised for a given operating condition.

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