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Electric Warship - Navy's Nautilus

An all-electric warship is under development by the U.S. Navy; the work is being supervised by Cemal Basaran, director of the Electronic Packaging Laboratory in the University of Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


(All-electric warship under study)

The intent of the project is to make the full electric power of a nuclear plant available throughout the ship. Increased power availability will lead to computerization of most of the electric warship's operations, which will make manpower redundant. The electric warship will require a crew of 100, compared to traditional battleship crew that numbers in the thousands, according to Navy estimates.

The next-generation power electronics that will control the ship will lead to major improvements in effectiveness, survivability and cost savings, as well as a significant reduction in the size of the vessel's components." said Basaran.

"Right now most electrical components are huge and waste too much power, but they don't need to," Basaran says. "We can reduce their size and waste by orders of magnitude, while increasing their ability to handle high current-density and high-power levels in harsh environments, significantly."

Science fiction fans of course recall an earlier model for all-electric sea-going fighting machines: the Nautilus from Jule's Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

"There is a powerful agent, obedient, rapid, easy, which conforms to every use, and reigns supreme on board my vessel. Everything is done by means of it. It lights, warms it, and is the soul of my mechanical apparatus. This agent is electricity."

"Electricity?" I cried in surprise.

"Yes, sir.

"Nevertheless, Captain, you possess an extreme rapidity of movement, which does not agree well with the power of electricity. Until now, its dynamic force has remained under restraint, and has only been able to produce a small amount of power."

"Professor,'' said Captain Nemo, "my electricity is not everybody's and that is all I wish to say about it... I point out only this: I owe all to the ocean; it produces electricity, and electricity gives heat, light, motion, and, in a word, life to the Nautilus."
(Read more about Jules Verne's Nautilus)

From UB Researchers to Help Design Navy's All-Electric Warship via Dvorak Uncensored.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/25/2007)

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