Biomimetic Propulsion System Powers Record-Breaking Submarine

The IMarEST’s European International Submarine Races 2018, held July 3-13 at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin in Gosport, U.K., have concluded, with the Canadian École de Technologie Supérieure team taking the winning trophy with their submarine, Omer 11, and breaking the world speed record. The runners-up came from universities in the Netherlands and the U.S.

The overall winner of the eISR must combine excellence in engineering design, manufacture, performance, reliability and reporting. In submarine racing, the name Omer is synonymous with all of these. The students from Montreal brought innovation to a new level this year, combining several iterations of racing success into a single world record-breaking submersible speedster.

Omer 11 is the first human-powered submarine to be equipped with interchangeable propeller and non-propeller propulsion systems. The team started the week with a standard two-bladed propeller, then moved to an even more efficient single-bladed prop to clinch the top speed of the competition by a male pilot. Finally they swapped in their biomimetic propulsion system, which was inspired by the wings of a penguin or sea turtle, and with a speed of 4.94 kts, beat the world speed record, which had stood since 2009, in the non-propeller division. View a full list of teams and participants at IMarEST.

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