Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Pablo M. Carrica

First Committee Member

Frederick Stern

Second Committee Member

Albert Ratner


Measurements of gas volume fraction, bubble velocity, chord length and bubble size distributions were performed in the research vessel Athena II operating in Saint Andrew Bay in the gulf coast near Panama City, FL. Double tipped sapphire optical local phase-detection probes were used to acquire indicator functions downstream of the breaking bow wave, behind the masker and at the stern. These indicator functions were also taken at different depths, distances from the hull, operating speeds and headings respect to the waves. The data processing includes the computation of velocity of individual bubbles and chord lengths, resulting in chord length distributions. These chord length distributions are used to obtain bubble size distributions using a novel procedure described in detail. Uncertainty analysis is performed for gas volume fraction, average bubble velocity and chord length. The results indicate that air entrainment increases with ship speed and sailing against the waves at all positions. The bow wave exhibits unsteady breaking that creates bubble clouds, which were characterized and identified by signal processing. At the stern a very strong dependence of bubble size with depth was found, with evidence that bubbles smaller than 500 micrometers are transported through the bottom of the hull and reach the transom. The roller present at the transom, the associated strong unsteadiness and bubble entrainment are well captured, as indicated by the stern results, showing the frothy nature of the upper layer.


Bubble Size Distribution, Bubble Size Unfolding, Bubble Velocity, Optical Phase-Detection Probes, Ship Two-Phase Flow


ix, 64 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-64).


Copyright 2010 James Paul Johansen