There is always a problem in antifouling acoustically active components. There are a few silicone based paints that are used but appear to not be ideal (microbubbles and blistering + shedding of large areas). There are new materials available – nano film silica layers, graphene, kelp extracts etc that may have potential to provide superior protection of acoustic components - they are probably too expensive for wide scale ship use.
Scope of the work
PhD would include review of latest materials and antifouling testing regimes including biological fouling and hydrodynamic scouring. Materials would need to be sourced and trials done on typical sonar polymers provided by Thales.
Thales would perform acoustic testing of representative components to verify ni degradation.
Which SEA program would benefit and how? Final outcome and impact (eg TRL increase?)