By Julia Bergman Day staff writer
It goes without saying that being able to move around quietly is key to a submarine’s stealth.
The Navy has continued to develop ways to make submarines more stealthy such as quieter machinery and a new hull coating to better absorb sound. And now, a University of Connecticut professor and his graduate students have found a way to do vibration testing on submarine parts sooner in the design process.
Rich Christenson, a professor in the University of Connecticut’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and his graduate students have adapted a method used by earthquake engineers to use shake tables to simulate how parts like a submarine motor, for example, will vibrate on a ship at sea. The shake tables are connected to computers, which tell the tables to move as the part would if it were sitting in water. The computers also run a mathematical model to see how the parts will respond when they are part of a larger system.