Publication Detail

Icarus: MIT's Human-powered Submarine

Clifford A. Goudey, William B. Coney
21 pp.
MITSG 90-08

In June 1989, the H.A. Perry Foundation sponsored a race among human-powered submarines. The rules were simple: design a two-person, wet sub in which one person provides the means of propulsion and one person pilots, both breathing with scuba. The prescribed course was three laps around a one-third kilometer course. In addition to speed, judging criteria included innovation and cost effectiveness. The competition attracted 19 entries. This paper describes Icarus, MIT's entry into this unusual competition, which was designed and built by students. The hull form, propulsion system, and control surface geometry are described. Several unusual features are also explained, including the articulated tail, the automatic buoyancy control system, and the slender propeller blades made of carbon fiber; numerical techniques used in the propeller design are also covered.

type: Technical reports

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