DASA seeks innovations to keep submarines clean

Posted on 15 September, 2022 by Advance 

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is investigating ways to ensure a clean, covert and capable submarine fleet.

Image courtesy DASA

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a new Market Exploration on behalf of the Royal Navy, called How Clean is your Hull? DASA's aim is to find novel solutions to the issue of bio-fouling on submarines, to help keep Britain’s undersea fleet clean, covert and capable.

The biofouling challenge and keeping hulls clean
DASA's new Market Exploration seeks to find technical solutions to tackle unwanted biofouling, which is the accumulation of natural organisms on submerged surfaces (such as submarine and boat hulls) that may be detrimental to the overall function of the vessel.

DASA is searching for mechanical and/or chemical methods of cleaning, as well as novel ways of detecting and classifying different biological material, looking for innovations that:

can deal with complex hull geometry and the small surface areas of submarine structures

do not damage or interfere with the purpose of acoustic tiles or sensor arrays

are environmentally compliant and do not pose wider risk to the natural environment

sit on the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) spectrum and mitigate the negative impact of bio-fouling on a submarine’s signature and performance.

De-fouling could be undertaken when the submarine is at sea or docked in port. If your solution can be used while the submarine is at sea, it should be battery powered and no larger than 1.5m x 1m x 0.5m. It would be advantageous if solutions were easily transportable, allowing them to be used without complex base infrastructure support.

Key dates

The market exploration is currently open. The deadline to submit proposals is 16th November 2022.

Let DASA know if you have a novel solution that can effectively remove the biological material that accumulates on submarine hulls to help preserve the battle-winning edge of the submarine fleet and support efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the Royal Navy: Read the full Market Exploration and submit your proposal