Statistical characterization of the optical interaction at a supercavitating interface

Gage Walters, Tim Kane, Rhett Jefferies, Lynn Antonelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The optical characteristics of an air/water interface have been widely studied for natural interface formations. However, the creation and management of artificial cavities creates a complicated interaction of gas and liquid that makes optical sensing and communication through the interface challenging. A ventilated cavity can reduce friction in underwater vehicles, but the resulting bubble drastically impedes optical and acoustic communication propagation. The complicated interaction at the air/water boundary yields surface waves and turbulence that make modeling and compensating of the optical properties difficult. Our experimental approach uses a narrow laser beam to probe the surface of the interface and measure the beam deflection and lensing effects. Using a vehicle model with a cavitator in a water tunnel, a laser beam is propagated outward from the model through the boundary and projected onto a target grid. The beam projection is captured using a high-speed camera, allowing us to measure and analyze beam shape and deflection. This approach has enabled us to quantify the temporal and spatial periodic variations in the beam propagation through the cavity boundary and fluid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOcean Sensing and Monitoring VIII
EditorsRobert A. Arnone, Weilin W. Hou
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600683
StatePublished - 2016
EventOcean Sensing and Monitoring VIII - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 19 2016Apr 20 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOcean Sensing and Monitoring VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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