Textured surface mimics shark skin to make underwater instruments more effective and environmentally friendly.
April 3, 2024

Submarines and ships rely on towed sonar arrays (TSAs) for underwater exploration and security operations, but dragging these sensors through water, especially at high cruising speeds, creates excess noise that can mask target signals and compromise the sonar’s detection capabilities. Now, a team of Berkeley engineers is attempting to solve this problem with a little inspiration from Mother Nature.

In a study recently published in Extreme Mechanics Letters, researchers from Berkeley, in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, demonstrate how a textured surface designed to mimic shark skin can reduce drag and mitigate flow-based noise, potentially opening the door to a new generation of more effective and efficient TSAs.