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Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering

NAOE Midshipmen Independent Research, EN495, EN496 and EN497

Midshipmen interested in pursuing research related to their degree have the opportunity senior year.  The range of topics vary based on the requirements and funding of outside sources, as well as the research interests of faculty and midshipmen.  The following midshipmen conducted research as part of Independent Research courses, EN495, EN496, and EN497 with Associate Professor Carolyn Judge, CAPT Dave Robillard, and Associate Professor Paul Miller.


Midshipmen First-Class Dylan Sewell and Sean Williamson developed a wing sail for a small autonomous sailboat.  The project involves development, testing, and prediction of operational effects of replacing a soft sail design with a wing sail.  The test vessel, the United States Naval Academy’s MaxiMOOP-V.2 SailBot, is a 1.2 meter long autonomous sailboat designed to conduct transatlantic crossings. 

The current sail configuration provides enough propulsion to carry a 7.5 kg payload and generates enough speed to overcome reasonable current. Initial tests of the wing sail are promising. Three types of experiments are being used to test the new wing sail: computational fluid dynamics, wind tunnel tests, and on-the-water trials. Predicted advantages of the wing sail over the current voyaging soft sail design include: faster overall speeds, increased durability, increased buoyancy in the case of capsizing, easier implementation of control systems, and ability for the sailboat to sail closer into the wind.  The research is advised by Associate Professor Carolyn Judge and Associate Professor Paul Miller and support the recurring course EN447 (Autonomous Surface Vessel Design) and EN448 (Autonomous Surface Vessel Fabrication and Evaluation).

Wing Sail 2Wing Sail 1

Pictures: Midshipman Sewell constructs wing sail; Wing sail operating on Sailbot


Midshipman First-Class Mike Maxwell theorized alternate configurations or attachments for the MK 25 rebreather system used in underwater diving.  The project focused on alterations to the carbon dioxide scrubber canister, with a goal to decrease the work of breathing and allow the diver to use less energy.  The original configuration for the MK 25 scrubber canister was designed in SolidWorks, followed by each proposed configuration or attachment.  Flow Simulator in SolidWorks establishes a pressure differential between the inlet and outlet of the canister.  The pressure differentials of the original canister and each new configuration are found.  Using this data, the work required for breathing may be calculated for each configuration and compared to the original configuration.  This research is advised by CAPT Dave Robillard.

Rebreather 1Rebreather 2

Pictures: Rebreather system; Midshipman Maxwell developing canister reconfigurations

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