Site: Institute of Hydromechanics Ukrainian Academy of Sciences
8/4 Zheljabova Str.
Kiev 252057
Telephone: 446-43-13
Fax: 446-42-29

Date Visited: May 18, 1993

Report Author: L. Gentry



L. Gentry
R. Seymour


Professor Victor T. Grinchenko; Director, Institute of Hydromechanics


The Hydromechanics Institute is one of three institutes in Kiev that belong to the Department of Mechanics of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. The center that the team visited is concerned with a wide range of hydrodynamics and hydroacoustics. The other mechanics institutes study solid body mechanics and the strength of various materials in harsh environments. The Hydromechanics Institute employs 150 researchers and has a total staff of over 300 persons.

The twelve departments at the Hydromechanics Institute are listed below:

Some areas of investigation that interested the WTEC panel include the following:

The institute has extensive and very capable test facilities, and conducts a variety of physical experiments along with parallel investigations in numerical modelling. The team saw no computing equipment, but was told that a few 486 personal computers are used for modelling, data processing, and design.

Due to the present unsettled political situation, the institute has funding difficulties and is very interested in joint studies with other institutes in the West.


The team observed a wide array of test facilities and research projects at the institute during the three-hour visit, including a high-speed tow tank with a tow carriage capable of speeds to 25 m/sec. It is equipped with a special control system to allow smooth and rapid deceleration. The facility has been used for control and drag experimentation of surface and submersible vehicles. The model basin is 140 m long by 3 m wide by 1.8 m deep.

A second tow tank was also observed that was 30 m x 5 m x 3 m deep and equipped with a more conventional tow carriage. This second basin was fitted with wave making and local wind generation equipment. A towed acoustic array was observed at the tank. The institute's scientists explained that they conduct hydroacoustic studies and elastic motion studies in waves using this facility. The team saw examples of miniaturized pressure and acoustic transducers at this facility. They mentioned that they develop and test active acoustic devices using piezoceramic transducers for low frequency applications.

The panel observed a high velocity hydrodynamics laboratory where experimentation in very high speed underwater projectiles and propulsed bodies is conducted. The specifications sheet distributed during the visit mentions velocities up to 1,000 m/sec. The institute also claimed to have data on velocities near the speed of sound and theoretical work to velocities of Mach 2. These projectiles are launched at speeds that create a surrounding cavitation field that exhibits very low drag. The drag is essentially limited to the area of the tip of the projectile and is actually less than the drag in air at the same speed. No information was provided relative to the distance travelled or stability in flight; however, the team did observe a few crumpled projectiles that tumbled during flight.

The Hydromechanics Institute has other hydrodynamic test facilities that the team did not have time to inspect. These include a closed water tunnel and hydrodynamic test stand for flow and low-intensity turbulence testing to flow velocities of 5 m/sec.

The institute also has equipment for open-ocean testing. The team did not see this equipment, but it is believed to be located at a remote site along with support ships used by the institute for at-sea hydromechanical investigations. The equipment includes a towed test sled and two small ROVs named Polus and Adeline. These are very small (60 kg) and shallow water (300 m) units used in support of shallow testing.


The institute demonstrated the high speed (25 m/sec) towing of a submerged sphere in the large tow basin. The institute's scientists and engineers also are doing work on oscillating wing propulsion systems (see Figures Hydro.1 and Hydro.2), including clusters of these control/propulsion devices for submerged vehicle maneuvering.

The Hydromechanics Institute appears to be capable of advanced laboratory experiments in many areas related to underwater vehicles, although the team was not shown numerical results because of insufficient time. Institute representatives said that they had recently obtained a few 486 personal computers. However, the team was not able to assess the institute's numerical computation capabilities.

The institute has a strong program in ocean wave studies, and its work on high speed projectiles appears to be unique and exciting. The projectiles, about 1 inch in diameter, and tapering to a point over 10 inches in length, are explosively launched to speeds approaching or exceeding Mach 1. As the vapor cavity forms, resistance/drag drops to less than that experienced in air. The actual test velocity achieved is uncertain, but was claimed to be above Mach 1. The team saw high speed photography of the institute's tests; institute representatives claim to be able to numerically model cavity shape and formation at even higher speeds.

The team was given a package of project description sheets for a development group known as "NIPIOceanmash" at Dniepropetrovsk, located about 300 km southeast of Kiev. Although there is no formal connection of the Hydromechanics Institute with NIPIOceanmash, papers were offered to the team on behalf of the director of NIPIOceanmash. The papers described projects involving a wide range of ocean engineering activities and equipment for deep ocean mining, deep offshore drilling, marine salvaging, and dredging. The data describes what appears to be available systems not unlike the Glomar Explorer with heavy lift and deep drilling capabilities to depths of 6,000 m. While little time was available to explore this capability, it is very interesting and worthy of future follow-up to determine if technologies appropriate to underwater vehicles are involved. The team was told that the director of NIPIOceanmash would be interested in further contact.


High speed tow basin and water tunnels.

Specifications sheet.

High velocity hydrodynamics facility. Specifications sheet.

At-sea tow complex. Specifications sheet.

Small ROVs Polus and Adeline. Data sheets.

Various underwater projects conducted at NIPIoceanmash in Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Data sheets.

Large model for testing oscillating wing propulsion for submersibles. Two photographs.

Flow visualization using bubbles. Photograph.

Model testing of U.S.S. Lafayette class submarine hull. Photograph.

Figure Hydro.1. Large Model Testing of Oscillating Wing Propulsion for Submersibles

Figure Hydro.2. Test Model for Oscillating Wing Propulsion (side view)

Figure Hydro.3. Flow Visualization Using Bubbles

Figure Hydro.4. Model Testing of U.S.S. Lafayette Class Submarine Hull

Published: June 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian