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Model Building And Testing As An Undergraduate Research Approach To Advancing Air Assisted Marine Vehicle Technology

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Topics at the intersection of Aero and Naval Eng.

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.899.1 - 13.899.9



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Paper Authors


Konstantin Matveev Washington State University

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Konstantin Matveev obtained a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in 2003. He carried out his postdoctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. As a research scientist at Art Anderson Associates, he was working on the development of innovative high-performance marine transportation concepts. Currently, Dr. Matveev is an assistant professor at Washington State University. His research interests include aero-hydrodynamics, dynamics, and propulsion of advanced air-assisted marine vehicles.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Model Building and Testing as an Undergraduate Research Approach to Advancing Air-Assisted Marine Vehicle Technology


High-performance air-assisted marine vehicles can benefit many naval and civil applications. However, traditional R&D methods for these craft require enormous resources and sophisticated facilities. An innovative undergraduate research approach has been initiated that aims at advancing the air-supported marine vehicle technology. An emphasis is made on building and testing models of novel air-assisted amphibious transport concepts. One research project and outreach activities are described in this paper.


Advanced air-assisted marine craft, such as Power Augmented Ram Vehicles (PARV), Wing-In- Grounds (WIG), and Air Cavity Ships (ACS), can benefit many naval and civil applications, including landing/patrol/rescue missions, high-speed Sealift, Arctic operations, and shipping and recreational industries. For example, a demand for these craft has been demonstrated by a recent Broad Agency Announcement of the Office of Naval Research.1 Due to complexity of technologies associated with high-speed motion at the air-sea interface and complex physics of multi-phase flows, traditional rigorous R&D approaches require enormous resources and sophisticated facilities. These problems hold back the advancement of high-performance fast marine transportation.

At the same time, these impressive technologies are very appealing to undergraduate students interested in motor sports on the water, ground, and air. Although most undergraduate students do not have sufficient fundamental knowledge for traditional research on advanced topics, these students are very responsive to the build-and-try method for complex engineering problems. At Washington State University, an alternative and productive research approach in high- performance marine vehicles has been recently initiated.

Small-scale models of air-assisted marine craft with relatively simple structures are designed by a faculty advisor and built and modified by undergraduate students. Propulsion and control system elements for these models are acquired inexpensively from hobby suppliers. The modular model design allows us to test many parameters and to come up with new technical ideas in much shorter time frame and at much lower budgets than it would be possible in traditional R&D. Although our tests do not aim at very precise measurements, the engineering-level accuracy can be achieved with specifically designed low-cost force balance systems, manual pressure multiplexers, and other sensor/data acquisition elements. Outdoor tests with remotely controlled self-propelled models of air-assisted craft in a variety of test conditions add to the understanding and confidence in the novel marine vehicle concepts and serve as great demonstrators for marine industry and for recruiting and retaining students in engineering.

The main steps in this program on advanced marine vehicles are planned as follows:

Matveev, K. (2008, June), Model Building And Testing As An Undergraduate Research Approach To Advancing Air Assisted Marine Vehicle Technology Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3093

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