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marine case study

Helping GeoSpectrum launch a towed sensor platform.

Towed body analysis using 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling.

Key facts

  • 01.


    GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc, Canada

  • 02.


    Towed sensor array platform

  • 03.


    Platform stability for product development

Client challenge

GeoSpectrum Technologies designs and manufactures integrated, end-to-end acoustic systems for elite navies globally, supporting marine surveillance and exploration. Having carried out sea trials of a new towed sensor array design, our client saw stability issues that would impact operation. Modifying the design had the potential to be costly and time consuming, delaying the product’s market release. We were asked to identify the root causes and propose design solutions. 

How we helped

We created a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the towed body, its connection bridle and tow line. We then analysed this model under a range of operating conditions to identify potential problems and their causes, and evaluate proposed solutions.

We assessed:

  • the force and moments generated for different speeds 
  • the resulting body roll, pitch and yaw angles.

The results were comparable to those from the earlier sea trials. The analyses also showed a large vortex shedding mechanism from the trailing edge of the body. We proposed three modifications to fix the stability issue, carrying out dynamic simulations to assess their potential to eliminate roll and whether the new design was prone to ‘kiting’.   

The model was created with Star-CCM+ software, one of the commercial tools we use. 

Project results

The proposed modifications showed positive results. GeoSpectrum could make design changes to ensure the sensor platform was stable, proceeding with product development.

Computational and hydrodynamics analysis offers a cost-effective, predictive tool. Representing real-life scenarios, it is valuable for both troubleshooting and design optimisation.

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