Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Cloaking Technology Could Protect Offshore Rigs From Destructive Waves 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the almost-perfect-wave dept.
cylonlover writes "Recent years have seen much progress in the development of invisibility cloaks which bend light around an object so it can't be seen, but can the same principles be applied to ocean waves that are strong enough to smash steel and concrete? That's the aim of Reza Alam's underwater 'invisibility cloak.' The assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, recently outlined how to use variations of density in ocean water to cloak floating objects from dangerous surface waves."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cloaking Technology Could Protect Offshore Rigs From Destructive Waves

Comments Filter:
  • Will need lotsa beer to significantly change the seawater density around the platform.
    Just sayin'
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 23, 2012 @01:07AM (#42071131) Journal

    I am perpetually impressed by how useful mathematics derived from a few abstract axioms can actually be in modelling the real world. Further, it is always fascinating to see the strange overlaps where a single mathematical abstraction proves useful in the examination of two seemingly unrelated phenomena...

    It is apparently so; but the idea that waves made of seawater and 'waves' that function as models of certain aspects of the behavior of electromagnetic radiation is always deeply surprising.

  • Someone getting an early jump on April 1st?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did they get this cloaking technology from the Romulans?

    • How does being invisible protect you from ocean waves? Perhaps they confused "invisibility" with "intangibility". Then again, the Cloaking Device on Star Trek worked via the Deflector Screen (Stargate: Atlantis coppied this) so it's understandable if stupid people get confused.
  • Interesting (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheLink (130905) on Friday November 23, 2012 @01:58AM (#42071353) Journal
  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Friday November 23, 2012 @02:58AM (#42071579)
    Does this invisibility cloak make me look fat?
  • I suppose this would assume that waves have some intelligence, and are attacking these ships. I'm of the opinion that these waves are more like the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, where you would be better off covering your eyes with a towel to fool them into thinking the ship - or at least, the crew - are invisible.

    Well, it would probably just do as much good.

  • As I understand, to generate that cloak you need to create/modify underwater layers by changing salinity or temperature or direction. It all comes down to manipulating HUGE masses of water -- meaning investing HUGE amounts or energy. It's a cool idea but the implementation is in the regions of sci-fi.
    • As I understand, to generate that cloak you need to create/modify underwater layers by changing salinity or temperature or direction.

      You misunderstand:

      He found that by placing a corrugated or wavy pattern tuned to particular wavelength on the seabed it would cause surface waves to temporarily become internal waves.

      The two layers of water are a natural phenomenon which allow the waves to be transferred underwater.

      • He found that by placing a corrugated or wavy pattern tuned to particular wavelength on the seabed it would cause surface waves to temporarily become internal waves.

        The two layers of water are a natural phenomenon which allow the waves to be transferred underwater.

        "Tuned to particular wavelength..." how is that a natural phenomenon?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I have not RTFA because that's how it is but there's another fine way to change the density of water, you inject air. They can store air pressure in a weighted cylinder, water columns... etc etc

  • by ssam (2723487) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:06AM (#42072009)

    Oil rigs are pretty good at exploding on their own without huge waves. we need something to cloak the ocean (and the atmosphere) from from the effects of oil rigs. soviet russia you're our only hope.

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Friday November 23, 2012 @08:33AM (#42072959)

    Those ocean researchers should really check whether Sandy Island [slashdot.org] is not actually covered in an invisibility cloak.

  • The soon to be over used buzz word of 2013..

  • While the technology might have the same basis as these cloaking efforts, this should more properly be described as "shields".

  • then they won't smash against it? They'll just pass right through, because the rig is, umm, invisible?

    They should apply it to cloaking cars. Then there'll be no accidents. Very practical.
    • by cellocgw (617879)

      Good grief. Is everyone suffering from toomuchturkey stupidity today?
      You muck with the waves coming in so as to force local interference effects. If you did it right, there's a node at the platform and bigger waves somewhere else that don't affect the platform.

      Sheesh.

  • Long, long ago when I was young, I used to read adventure tales.
    All those that happened at sea had the mandatory storm scene of course -- and each time, classically, the pirate captain (or whatever novel hero) suddenly decided to drop oil on the terrible sea, which by this way turned way cooler.

    Mind you, I even tried this myself!

    Now, of course, you need, and will waste, oil. I understand it's not fashion nowadays...

    • by lgw (121541)

      There was a SciAm article about this mentioned on /. in the last decade or so, finding some merit in altering water composition locally to create locally calmer seas.

      This approach alters local impedence through the shape of the ocean floor, not the composition of the water, but it's the same basic idea.

  • Not single pure damping frequency of circular ripples on ocean floor as depicted in simple diagram. Ogg say using single frequency like silly noise cancellation experiment where complex wave beat at edges of cancelling cone to make frog whisper artifact or low frequency beat that make heavy furniture walk around room and make dust bunny dance.

    Ogg say use simulation to find most potentially harmful frequencies to oil platform and plot bell curve around them and make concentric patterns of bumps on sea floor

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:10PM (#42076691)
    This is an interesting concept, which might have a practical application. By reading the article I learned something and I found it interesting. This is, by definition, "News for Nerds".

    As typically happens here on Slashdot, most of the comments deliberately ignore the technical content and make bad irrelevant jokes and/or trash the researcher for being stupid. The person who wrote the original paper is clearly a very intelligent and accomplished academic and doesn't rate this kind of mindless attack. You don't get on the faculty at UC Berkeley by being less then competent.

    The "cloaking" description was clearly written by the semi-literate incompetent hack who wrote the fluff piece that quoted the original research. They were trying to tie this research into the recent publicity on electromagnetic cloaking with microwaves and did a very bad job. Any criticism or analysis based on the idea of cloaking is obviously bogus and irrelevant.

    From what I could glean from the garbled information, this technique is applicable for the conditions found in deep water oil drilling platforms. It seems that it could decrease the energy of large waves by channeling some of their energy into the water density boundary layer below the rig, providing an extra margin of protection. I doubt that it would diminish waves at all frequencies, but it would be tuned for the most destructive energy band. If it is practical it would be very useful.

    Ogg is dumber then a box of rocks. If dumping a bunch of random sized rocks on the ocean floor would protect an oil rig then they would already be doing it. These things are so expensive that if this worked it would be cheap insurance and standard to the industry. To the best of my knowledge dumping rocks is done in shallow water to protect coastlines and harbors, not in deep water. Even if Ogg knows how to spell "Gaussian harmonic" that doesn't mean he is refuting the content of the academic paper. The dumb description just says "ripples", which could actually be a structure like Ogg described. Ogg is throwing stones at a straw man. Ogg's critique is at the same level as a chimpanzee throwing it's shit at something, and has a similar intellectual content.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

Working...