Modelling the induced magnetic signature of naval vessels
In the construction of naval vessels stealth is an important design feature. With recent advances in electromagnetic sensor technology the war time threat to shipping posed by electromagnetically triggered mines is becoming more significant and consequently the need to understand, predict and reduce the electromagnetic signature of ships is growing. There are a number of components to the electromagnetic field surrounding a ship, with each component originating from different physical processes. The work presented in this study is concerned with the magnetic signature resulting from the magnetisation of the ferromagnetic material of the ship, under the influence of the earth's magnetic field. The detection threat arising from this induced magnetic signature has been known for many years, and consequently, warships are generally fitted with degaussing coils which aim to generate a masking field to counteract this signature. In this work computational models are developed to enable the induced magnetic signature and the effects of degaussing coils to be studied. The models are intended to provide a tool set, to aid the electromagnetic signature analyst in ensuring that pre-production designs of a vessel lie within specified induced magnetic signature targets. Techniques presented where also allow the rapid calculation of currents in degaussing coils. This is necessary because the induced magnetisation of a vessel changes with orientation. Three models are presented within this work. The first model represents a ship as a simple geometric shape, a prolate spheroidal shell, of a given relative permeability. Analytical expressions are derived which characterise the magnetic perturbation to a previously uniform magnetic field, the earth's magnetic field, when the spheroid is placed within its influence. These results provide a quantitative insight into the shielding of large internal magnetic sources by the hull. This model is intended for use in preliminary design studies. A second model is described which is based on the finite element method. This is a numerical model which has the capability of accurately reproducing the relatively complex geometry of a ship and of including the effects of degaussing coils. For these reasons this model is intended for detailed quantitative studies of the induced magnetic signature. A method is described to calculate the optimal set of degaussing coil currents required to minimise the induced magnetic signature. The induced signature without and with degaussing is presented. For the successful application of the finite element method the generation of a mesh is of extreme importance. In this work a mesh generation procedure is described which permits meshes to be generated around a collection of planar surfaces. The relatively complex geometry of a ship can be easily specified as a number of planar surfaces and from this, the finite element mesh can be automatically generated. The automatic mesh generation detailed in this work eliminates an otherwise labour intensive step in the analysis procedure. These techniques are sufficiently powerful to allow meaningful calculations for real ships to be performed on desk-top computers of modest power. An example is presented which highlights the application of this model to a hypothetical ship structure. The third model detailed is specifically designed to study the induced magnetic signature of mine countermeasures vessels. Here the induced magnetic signature is no longer dominated by the gross structure of the ship, which is constructed from non-magnetic materials, but arises from the combined effect of the individual items of machinery onboard the craft.