Ears Hearing Under Water

 

Overview

The passive sonar array on the Seawolf submarine relies on a polymer extrusion to keep the sonar system air-tight--but the extrusion wasn't adhering to the polymer on the cable assemblies. After numerous failures in test mode, the design was scrapped and engineers went back to the drawing board, looking for a better solution.Stated as a physical contradiction, the engineers wanted extrusion for water-tightness, but did not want extrusion because of its unreliable results. Using the TRIZ "separation in space" principle, and further designed experiments, the system was sliced into eight zones, each with its own different extrusion parameters. The new solution was implemented, no test failures occurred and the submarine was ultimately delivered to its customer, the US Navy.

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