Dr. Fred E.Saalfeld Deputy Chief of Naval Research/Technical Director
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the Twenty-First Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics. It is my pleasure to look out on this large number of participants from so many countries. This symposium reflects the widely recognized need for continual exchange of research information in the engineering sciences applicable to marine vehicle technology.
As technical director of the Office of Naval Research, I am responsible for science and technology supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Naval hydrodynamics is an essential area of research, and I have a keen interest in encouraging advancement in this field. I am looking forward to hearing firsthand at this symposium the latest achievements in predicting and controlling hydrodynamics in an ocean environment. I have previewed the papers to be presented; clearly this symposium is the state of the art in naval hydrodynamics. As many of you know, the Office of Naval Research is celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary this year. From its birth, ONR recognized the importance of international collaboration to the success of our endeavors. Right from our start, we had an office in Europe in appreciation of that desired collaboration.
The Office of Naval Research is a descendent of the World War II Office of Scientific Research and Development, which, during the war, forged a new partnership between the U.S. federal government and scientists. The success of the Office of Scientific Research and Development stimulated the Navy to establish its own permanent presence in Europe which would continue this partnership and ensure the technical evolution of the Navy beyond the war's end. Key to the establishment of ONR was Vannevar Bush's 1945 paper “Science, the Endless Frontier, ” in which he urged that the government support and participate in science. He also highlighted the need for international exchange of scientific information by stating, “increasing specialization of science will make it more important than ever that science in this country keep continually abreast of developments abroad.” Shortly thereafter an act of Congress transformed the Office of Research and Inventions into the Office of Naval Research. The foundation of the ONR Europe (or as it was then known, ONR London) operations of the time were rooted in the thoughts of the 1947 Steelman report, which espoused that it is important for researchers to be aware of similar and overlapping interests worldwide, at an early stage in the work, in order to make plans for cooperation or cross-checking results.
The Office of Naval Research supports hydrodynamics science and technology because there is a direct benefit to naval warfighting capabilities. As an intended ancillary product, the research also supports technological advances in the commercial arena. ONR provides the stable research infrastructure that scientific efforts require to produce beneficial results, even if the outcome cannot be foreseen at the beginning. It is in this spirit that ONR supports this symposium.
This symposium is unique. It is international in character, alternating in location between the United States and a host country other than the United States. This is the twenty-first meeting of the symposium since it began in 1956, 10 years after the creation of ONR. Thus, this is the Fortieth Anniversary year of this symposium. As always, the symposium is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the National Research Council, and a host institution, in this case, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Thank you, Professor Odd Faltinsen, for hosting this conference. The majesty of Norway is an appropriate setting for this auspicious meeting of the world's naval hydrodynamicists.
Many factors enter a nation's decision to design and construct ships. These factors include technological achievement, labor rates, government subsidy, and defense priority. However, the enabling factor is always technological achievement. For example, common to both naval and commercial interests is the need for fast, non-conventional transports. This requires basic understanding of, and a prediction capability for, complex turbulent flows and their effects on performance. An enabling technology would be the successful development of a useable computer prediction method to complement towing tank evaluations in the context of simulation-based design. Such a technology would use calibrated computational methods to interpret and expand the sparse database obtained from towing tank evaluations.
Computational ship hydrodynamics is a growing science and technology area. The naval hydrodynamics community has the option of managing this growth in such a manner that the product is affordable. We see then that the goal of affordable ships is both affordability in production as well as affordability in design evaluation. We have all heard the message that verification, validation,
and accreditation (words frequently attached to computational methods) are the next focus area.
The initial development of computational methods, or the evaluation in the towing tank of a physical model, is viewed with much greater relish by most researchers than the seemingly mundane task of validation. Yet such a task is with merit, requiring the best and the brightest of researchers, and is crucial to the successful implementation of computational ship hydrodynamics in the design environment. I can see the day, not too distant, that towing tank measurements and computational investigations occur simultaneously as the common database is filled and interrogated to achieve the designs for high-performance ships. Such a bold step is a major expense for any one nation to undertake. For this reason, and among other reasons in other fields, I have established the Naval International Cooperative Opportunities in Science and Technology Program (NICOP) under Dr. Craig Dorman, chief scientist and technical director of ONR Europe, who is attending this symposium.
This new program is designed to broaden, institutionalize, and improve coordination of ONR's international efforts, and to improve the Navy 's ability to access international science and technology opportunities in priority areas. NICOP provides for face-to-face exchange of technical expertise and perspectives between U.S. and international participants. The intent is to establish long-term collaborative relationships that match strength to strength and interest to interest. My staff, including the program officers leading the research efforts sponsored by ONR, agree with me that this program deserves special emphasis. I encourage all of you to consider, as you savor the international exchange of this symposium, an idea for international cooperation, and to present it to ONR as a candidate for NICOP.
Seventy-two papers from 18 countries will be presented and discussed at this symposium. These papers were selected from approximately 150 submitted papers, almost all of which were of sufficient quality to have been presented in this symposium. You can expect high-quality, state-of-the-art presentations. You are invited to vigorously participate in the paper discussions. Have a good meeting!