Improving the hydrodynamic performance of the SUBOFF bare hull model: a CFD approach

  • Kambiz DivsalarEmail author
Research Paper


The main aims of this study are to investigate the hydrodynamic performance of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), calculate its hydrodynamic coefficients, and consider the flow characteristics of underwater bodies. In addition, three important parts of the SUBOFF bare hull, namely the main body, nose, and tail, are modified and redesigned to improve its hydrodynamic performance. A three-dimensional (3D) simulation is carried out using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. To simulate turbulence, the kω shear stress transport (SST) model is employed, due to its good prediction capability at reasonable computational cost. Considering the effects of the length-to-diameter ratio (LTDR) and the nose and tail shapes on the hydrodynamic coefficients, it is concluded that a hull shape with bullet nose and sharp tail with LTDR equal to 7.14 performs better than the SUBOFF model. The final proposed model shows lower drag by about 14.9% at u = 1.5 m·s−1. Moreover, it produces 8 times more lift than the SUBOFF model at u = 6.1 m·s−1. These effects are due to the attachment of the fluid flow at the tail area of the hull, which weakens the wake region.


Autonomous underwater vehicle Computational fluid dynamics Hydrodynamic performance Drag Turbulence model Hull shape 

List of symbols


Body force




Dimensionless wall distance


Drag coefficient


Fluid density


Gravitational acceleration


Kronecker delta




Length-to-diameter ratio


Lift coefficient


Main body length


Nose length


Pitching moment coefficient




Pressure coefficient


Reynolds number


Reynolds stress tensor


Specific rate of dissipation


Tail length


Turbulent kinetic energy






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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringImam Khomeini University of Maritime SciencesNowshahrIran

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