Torpedo Launcher – Overall Design

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Torpedo Launcher
  • Torpedo Launcher – Overall Design

The torpedo launcher we’ve been constructing features two cylindrical tubes containing torpedoes that compress a spring and are released by a trigger mechanism. Our design process has led to various alterations, particularly to the barrel, torpedo, and trigger mechanism.

For the barrel, we added holes to facilitate water escape making it easier for the torpedo to push water out of the way as it exits the chamber.

With the torpedoes, we initially experimented with fins to maintain a straight line, but they didn’t work as intended. We then introduced a spiral pattern to help maintain their path. Eventually, we designed the torpedoes as cylinders with spherical tops tapering towards the bottom. However, the 3D-printed torpedoes wanted to float, giving them an upward trajectory, and they still struggled to maintain a straight line.

The trigger mechanism was initially too weak due to being 3D printed, so we made it thicker. It also didn’t have a large enough angle to provide sufficient friction against the torpedo’s body as it was being pressed by the spring. We corrected this by giving it a larger surface area and steeper angle, ensuring it could keep the spring compressed and release it correctly.

We still have an issue with the torpedo veering though this issue is inconsistent. Future work consists of running fluid simulations to optimize torpedo shape and determine why the torpedo sometimes varies from its path. We also need to incorporate the servo release. Our current thoughts involve rods offset 180° from each other on the servo horn that individually push down the torpedo triggers.

Launching a torpedo