Behavior of a Large Cylinder In Free-Fall Through Water

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Marine Science


This paper presents results of experimental deployment of a large instrumented cylinder of variable nose geometry and center of mass offset (CMO) in free-fall in realistic environment. Data on four tests series in the Gulf of Mexico are presented and analyzed statistically. The stochastic nature of the problem of the cylinder free-failing through water is outlined and described as an input to the subsequent impact burial prediction package. Significance of the CMO on the behavior of the cylinder is underlined. Influence of the release conditions on trajectory is discussed and found to affect the behavior of the cylinders only in the first 3.5 in of free-fall in water. Beyond this depth, quasi-stable (in the mean sense) conditions are achieved. Effects of three different nose shapes-blunt, hemispherical, and chamfered-on cylinder behavior are analyzed and found to have a pronounced influence on the fall trajectory. The blunt nose shape appears to be hydrodynamically most stable in free-fall. Apparent periodicity in motions of all cylinders were noted and were found to be the function of the CMO and nose shape primarily. Implications of these and other findings on modeling and impact burial predictions are discussed.

Publication Title

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering





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