CFD Investigation for Sonar Dome with Bulbous Bow Effect

Ping Chen Wu, Jiun Yu Chen, Chen I. Wu, Jiun Ting Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to design a hull-mounted sonar dome of a ship using OpenFOAM with a bulbous bow effect at cruise speed in calm water. Verification and validation for the original sonar dome simulation are conducted. Next, the 1.44 million grid size is selected to study different dome lengths. By protruding the dome forward 7.5% of the ship’s length, the optimal 17% resistance reduction is achieved and is mainly caused by the pressure resistance decrease. The optimal sonar dome not only functions in the same way as a bulbous bow, but the viscous flow behaviors are also improved. The protrusion corresponding to 90 deg phase lag reduces the bow wave amplitude. The flow acceleration outside the boundary layer and ship wake velocity are higher coinciding with the much lower total resistance. A smaller flow separation and thinner boundary layer are also observed behind the sonar dome because its back slope is less steep. The high pressure covers a smaller area around the bow, and the smaller bow wave crest does not hit the ship’s flare to form high pressure. Consequently, the lower high pressure on the dome front and higher low pressure on the dome back result in the decreases in pressure resistance. The vortical structures are also improved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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