Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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This needs to be built by somebody who isn't just tinkering around in their garage.
  [vote for,

It all started with the concept for BoaterCycle, (not floatercycle. that was what I called it in my head but then I wrote it differently when I posted it), which would allow someone to ride their bicycle above the water without anyone being able to see how the cycle stayed suspended by powering a submerged Styrofoam or inflatable Archimedes screw with a trim-tab controlled weighted ballast hanging below the rider. [link]1
Like a Weeble, you wouldn't be able to tip while at rest.

Then I thought... why couldn't I be the ballast 'within' a clear plexi-glass hull on a recumbent bicycle. The entire hull would then become the screw.
Enter Submercycle. Deleted [link] You can picture it.

I searched to see if this was a new idea, as it appears to be pretty obvious that this would be an efficient design, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
In my searches I found a ton of externally-powered screw devices and then I stumbled on the International Human Powered Submarine races.
It turns out that that the Navy has been sponsoring human powered sub contests every two years for quite some time now. [link]2
Who knew right?
The top speed reached in these races so far is 7.9 knots, which is like human jogging speed, 15 km/hr-ish and I estimate that even the clunkiest prototype of this design we could cobble together would more than double the world speed record.

So I called and emailed UBC Vancouver trying to give the idea away.
Since they already had an entry in the competition I figured that they would be interested, but they wouldn't give me the time of day. {shrugs} No credentials...
...So I harassed a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University here until he agreed to give me a few minutes of his time... which turned into quite a bit more than that when he saw my sketches and such.
He wanted to put together a team of student engineers to work on the concept, and there was a twenty five thousand dollar grant which could be applied for if an innovative enough proprietary concept was proposed.
A marine company in town had recently approached the University looking for innovations in the marine industry and a few days later I just happened to come walking through his door with innovations in the marine industry looking for a home so he set up a meeting between them and myself.
They grasped the concept but didn't think it would work even with a Mech.Ed . prof telling them so and said that they needed to see a prototype.

Without knowing just what I was getting myself into I told them that I could build this thing.
The University 3d printed me the largest Archimedes screw hull they could fabricate in three pieces and, with this size constraint, I spent every spare moment for over a year making good on my claim. It took a few rebuilds of the internal mechanisms but I got all of the proofs of concept on film.

There is a very good chance that I got less sleep during that year than any other year of my life... and that's saying something... but every aspect of it worked just the way it did in my head.

While building this contraption I continually daydreamed about what it would be like to pilot such a craft. How would I steer it? How would I submerge/emerge?
I figured that if I pedalled too fast then I would invert the cycle itself and spin myself within the hull so I would need to pedal slowly at first.
This was unacceptable.
The human powered submarine competition is a drag race with a 100 meter start-up area, a 300 meter filmed/timed area, and a 100 meter slow down area, with a cargo net for safety, which I was trying to figure out how not to rip a new three foot hole through, since nobody seemed to have taken radial energy into account.
So I devised an inner rubber coated flywheel on a swing arm which would engage the hull, if I rode up the side when pedaling too fast, and it would store any excess energy until I reach equilibrium and the flywheel disengaged with the hull letting me grab the next gear to ride back up the side reengaging it again.
Since none of the race rules excluded the storing of energy while in the 100 meter warm-up area this means that I could potentially gain maybe even tenth gear, going nowhere really fast, before I even reached the starting line.

When the craft approaches the starting line both the hull and the flywheel would be spinning at the same rate, so by reengaging the flywheel and forcing it to move rearwards along the hull, the natural taper of the conical shape then becomes a transmission of sorts, whereby the farther back the flywheel is forced the faster the hull turns, and would in my estimation more than triple the current speed record.
that part's just a hunch btw

It then dawned on me then that a neutrally buoyant body containing a spinning flywheel within it is basically a gyroscope balancing and rotating around no fixed point, so that twisting the flywheel induces ninety degree torque precession of the entire craft allowing for steering in any direction without external control surfaces such as rudders and therefore no drag to reduce top speeds. Which I think is pretty cool in and of itself because it could steer any and all seafaring craft without rudders, even while stationary, but...

The navy wants its pedal powered subs to be flooded.

"I" don't want a flooded sub.
I want a craft where I can close the hatch with my limited amount of air and then be able to dive as deeply, and surface as quickly, as I want because I have brought no pressurised air down with me.
There is no nitrogen narcosis or "bends" from decompression this way, but the Navy wants to be able to move divers around in flooded subs...
...and I can work with this.

One of the stipulated rules of the race is that exhaled gasses must be dealt with or they will collect and cause a craft to become positively buoyant.
The only rule concerning exhaled gasses is that they are not allowed to be re-pressurized and used for propulsion.
Expelling the gasses would be as simple as perforating the hull and letting them out in a cloud of bubbles, but it got me to thinking...

...since the nose-cone of the craft is basically un utilized, all exhaled gas could be shunted to the front nose-cone with a bladder to hold the gas in place.
Since the hull is spinning, the shunted air would also begin to spin. If the tip of the nose-cone were retracted, then the spinning air would tornado and stay cohesive displacing water from the opening and creating a pressure ridge at the front of the craft which, although not quite as efficient as a point, would still be very aquadynamic and allow for the formation of vortex rings to be launched from the nose-cone once all of the water has been displaced when the inner membrane is impacted.

These vortex rings would not only be inverting at the rate at which they were launched, they would also be rotating at the same speed of the craft which launched them

The vortex rings themselves seem to defy buoyancy as long as their rotational energy remains.
I propose that a series of these rings could be made to maintain their position underwater and even be made to increase in rotational speed using focussed sound, perhaps emitted from the sub itself.
This would allow us to recoup our lost energy as the screw would interact with each ring as though it were a solid object, and, since sound waves travel so much faster in water than they do in air, extra spin could be induced by targeting the sound-waves only at the centers of the vortices in line with their direction of inversion.

If such a series of vortices were maintained indefinitely, (say by wave powered buoys and submerged emitters) the result would be an artificial current induced in the water which would create transoceanic pathways dragging any neutrally buoyant object to distant ports like a balloon through dyson fans. [link]5

Turns out that if you shoot a faster moving vortex ring at a slower moving vortex ring and you line them up just right, they leapfrog each other. [link]6
Even if you miss by a bit they still impart directional energy. [link]7


Both blue and green heat lasers travel well through water. and a laser beam can be split into a circular pattern. [link]8
The molecules of the gas within these leapfrogging vortex rings can be excited and made to expand allowing a craft to slip between them at just the right time to capture the energy of the rapid leapfrog contraction to surf an ever increasing wave within an artificial current which the craft is already pulling itself through... like a wet apple seed getting spit out of an infinite series of grasps.

Experiments that I've done with a glass tube full of air submerged in a clear container of water and a laser pointer would seem to indicate that a laser beam refracts at varying angles to the column of air depending on the angle of incidence and so could be calibrated to bend in such a way that the light refracting from one vortex ring pre-heats the next ring in the series which make up the column.


Eventually these Archimedes capsules linked together by swivels like train cars will use Sea-Cans full of cargo to stay submerged as they deliver goods between continents in direct line-of-sight even beneath Polar ice.
No storms.
No piracy.
Minimal crew.
Guaranteed delivery times.

Now picture inspection industry applications where any pipe it can fit within, it can also get back out of without having to turn around.

The mining of Manganese nodules from the floor of the Marianas trench would no longer be too prohibitively expensive to split seven ways with the international consortium in charge of the mining rights.

...eventually when they go all nano-tech and can scoot around within a human body they will be used for minimally invasive surgical techniques and targeted drug delivery systems.

For Exo-planetary exploration these little bots can traverse land as well as water.

[link]1 Boatercycle
Boatercycle [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]2 http://internationalsubmarineraces.org/
Sub races. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]3 https://vimeo.com/83271708
Torid Pulse vortex ring launcher [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]4 http://www.seeker.c...eam-1767320026.html
Sound focussed like a laser [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]5 https://www.youtube...watch?v=4WNcjkZ6d0w
Dyson fan balloons [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]6 https://www.youtube...watch?v=DhZpFnI4TgE
Leapfrogging vortex rings [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]7 https://www.youtube...watch?v=4bhuFFZzJMQ
Leapfrogging vortex rings with pertubation [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

[link]8 https://www.youtube...watch?v=Mf5JYV4nFBo
Laser split into a circle [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 05 2016]

Vortex tank-tread. http://s68.photobuc...can-3.jpg.html?o=36
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 19 2016]


       Wow, I am strongly impressed. since you actually built the thing though you can say, you got the sheet metal, the nichrome wiring, built the oven, raised the crops to make the ingredients then baked it!   

       Yet you extended the idea, making it half baked. If you are the first to use a noncavitational gas effect (front vortex) to improve submarines I will be really impressed. You have probably already read about a Russian submarine that goes so fast it causes cavitation (bubbles) in front of it to remove friction.
beanangel, Nov 05 2016

       Yes I've read about super cavitation letting torpedoes and subs to reach aircraft speeds underwater.   

       I think this will let us attain those speeds without any cavitation at all.   

       I like the idea of cruising the coastline for fitness and a new perspective.   

       My mind is not sure on the vortex rings though. Wouldn't their formation be a balance between gas motion and the water? Putting pressure on the vortex with a screw might disrupt that balance. Result, no vortex. There is still water of the same density in the centre of the ring.   

       I would suggest a skin of hydrophobic material that can temporarily trap the expelled gases. A silvery skin of elegant frictionlessness.
wjt, Nov 11 2016

       Lack of an enormously powerful propulsion system utilizing dangerous, toxic, unstable and highly reactive chemicals [-]   


       ... or radioactivity.
8th of 7, Nov 11 2016

       // My mind is not sure on the vortex rings though. Wouldn't their formation be a balance between gas motion and the water? Putting pressure on the vortex with a screw might disrupt that balance. //   

       That's the point.
If you watch the video in link three from 1:00 to 1:10 or so you'll see how much resistance against the vortex rings must be exerted before they dissipate their energy.
If their inversion has been sped-up beforehand then extra energy could be recouped.

       //I would suggest a skin of hydrophobic material that can temporarily trap the expelled gases. A silvery skin of elegant frictionlessness//   

       There was something in the rules against using hydrophobic materials.   

       // Lack of an enormously powerful propulsion system utilizing dangerous, toxic, unstable and highly reactive chemicals [-] //   

       All of those things are pending. This is just the pedal powered version...   

       [2 fries] My problem with this is that the leap frogging vortexes are a seperate entity. An entity that has cost energy/mechanism to produce. What does it give the sub ? other than more complex turbulence vectors to drive through.   

       The ring has to be the same density as the water or wouldn't exist. The sub can't become a looping vortex itself. Which of course would be good.   

       Ultimately, what is wanted is a non turbulent low density infront, to drive into and a high density behind and griping the drive screw to push off.
wjt, Nov 19 2016

       Great kudos for getting this far, [2 fries]. The vortex concept is hurting my head, but in a good way. [+]
pertinax, Nov 19 2016

       //My problem with this is that the leap frogging vortexes are a separate entity. An entity that has cost energy/mechanism to produce. What does it give the sub ?//   

       I get that there's no free lunch.
The vortex rings will be of little to no use in the man-powered sub.
The internally ballasted screw shape and the energy storage flywheel/conical transmission bits will be enough to blow the current record away.
The vortices were just a random thought experiment which I think can be used to create artificial currents in the oceans.
If they can be made to rotate faster than they were rotating when launched... then it's simply another way to mitigate some of the effect of the drag of the surrounding water.

       //The ring has to be the same density as the water or wouldn't exist. The sub can't become a looping vortex itself.//   

       This I don't understand.
The vortex rings are comprised of gas which is not pressurised.
When the energy of their inversion dissipates they rise to the surface. They can't have the same density as the surrounding water?... can they?

       As for a sub not being able to become a looping vortex ring itself... that part is possible, we just don't have the materials for it yet. I thought I had sketched and posted that idea years ago but I can't find it anymore.
<later edit>
Aha! Still can't find the posting, but I found some of the sketches of the prototypes I was tinkering with. [link]9

       // Ultimately, what is wanted is a non turbulent low density in front, to drive into and a high density behind and griping the drive screw to push off.//   

       Well, If the rings are held suspended then a lower density channel will form through them to drive into.
...and If I am right about being able to heat the leapfrogging vortex rings so that this system becomes temporarily larger than the outer diameter of the hull, then discontinuation if the heat source as the sub slips through will cause a violent contraction of the leapfrogging rings and create a very high aft density which will "pinch" the tail end of the craft in a series of waves within a moving current.

       The analogy would be riding your bike on a miles-long moving flat-deck truck which is itself driving on a moving highway.
You'd still only technically be moving as fast as you can pedal, but in reality the entire system working in concert would move you much more quickly than that.


       Since I started playing around with vortex rings in my head all sorts of funky applications have popped up.
I'm tempted to post some of them but I need to research it all first.

       Some of the stuff has incredible potential... and some of it is downright scary.   

       I may have used density wrong but the bubble dispaces a volume of water. There is a dynamic balance between water and gas collection. I think a subs pressure wave will destroy the vortex action so I don't think the flat deck truck can be maintained.
wjt, Nov 20 2016

       Interesting. Thank you for the feedback.
That is certainly a possibility I wish I could test.
There is a portion of the video in [link]3 at just past the 1:00 mark which partially shows the amount of force needed to cause a vortex ring to expend its energy and dissipate. That visual is pretty much what this whole premise is based on.

       Since the hull is the screw it is pulling itself through the water, the pressure waves from this sub will not be the same as a craft being pushed through the water. They will be more radial then a conventional craft and nearly non-existent at the tip of the nose cone itself.   

       In my head I see the pressure wave from the hull acting upon a vortex ring, which is inverting in-line with direction of travel, causing the vortex to expand and be pushed forward until its diameter has stretched enough to allow the fins of the hull to interact directly with the ring.
This causes the ring to be "sliced" through its cross section, and the amount of energy needed for the vortex ring to become cohesive again exactly equals the amount of energy imparted on the screw itself.

       The vortices would need to be both inverting and rotating at faster rate than the hull for energy to be transferred to the sub rather than the sub speeding up the vortex ring at the expense of some of its rotational speed.
Causing them to leapfrog and contract at just the right time should give the sub a swift kick in the ass.


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