Flow noise reduction from superhydrophobic surfaces
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This work investigates how a highly (super)hydrophobic surface can be used to reduce turbulence-generated drag and noise on a towed streamer cable. The work is done by analyzing full-scale drag and flow noise measurements taken on a commercial seismic streamer in combination with direct numerical simulations of turbulence-generated flow noise. The main findings are that viscous drag and flow noise can be significantly reduced on a seismic streamer that is coated to make the surface highly hydrophobic. In an ocean towing test, a 4% reduction of drag on a streamer section was measured. In a separate test on a commercial seismic vessel, a reduction in the flow noise level of nearly 50% (6 dB) for frequencies below 10 Hz was found. Based upon an analysis of numerical simulation data, it is suggested that the reduction in drag and noise can be attributed to a reduced level of shear stress and change in the kinematic structure of the turbulence, both of which occur in the immediate vicinity of the highly hydrophobic surface.
Elboth, Thomas; Reif, Bjørn Anders Pettersson; Andreassen, Øyvind; Martell, Michael B.. Flow noise reduction from superhydrophobic surfaces. Geophysics 2012 ;Volum 77.(1) s. P1-P10