This presents a numerical model for the simulation of the flight mechanics behavior of flexible supercavitating vehicles. Supercavitating vehicles exploit supercavitation as a means to reduce drag and increase the underwater speed. In the proposed formulation, the vehicle’s rigid body motion is described by 6 degrees of freedom, which define pitch, yaw and roll motion and the displacement of the center of gravity with respect to a fixed inertial reference system. The forces applied to the vehicle include the control actions at the nose and at the fins, propulsion, gravity and cavity/vehicle periodic interactions associated to typical operating conditions. The elastic displacements are superimposed to the rigid body motion through a modal superposition technique. The mode synthesis is performed using Herting’s Transformation, which provides maximum flexibility in the selection of the elastic modes to be used for the used for the superposition, and the possibility of easily handling free-free modes. The developed numerical model predicts the dynamic response of the considered class of supercavitating vehicles resulting from assigned maneuvers. The analysis is motivated by the need of accurately modeling the structural characteristics of supercavitating vehicles in order to estimate vibrations in the structure and to envision and design systems that improve their guidance and control efficiency.

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