Free surface water entry of various objects has been studied using high-speed images and image processing techniques for decades. This thesis studies the forces, velocities, and trajectories of slender axisymmetric projectiles using an embedded inertial measurement unit (IMU). Three nose shapes (cone, ogive, and flat) were used in the study. Additionally, the projectiles were tested at vertical and oblique impact angles with different surface conditions. One-half of each projectile was coated down the centerline with a hydrophobic spray, creating a half hydrophobic, half hydrophilic case. The trajectory of this half-and-half case impacting vertically was compared to the trajectory of symmetrically coated projectiles impacting the free surface at oblique angles. The oblique impact cases showed significantly more final lateral displacement than the half-and-half case over the same depth. The amount of lateral displacement was also affected by the nose shape, with the cone nose shape achieving the largest lateral displacement for the oblique entry case. Instantaneous lift and drag coefficients were calculated using data from the IMU for the vertical, half-and-half, and oblique entry cases. Impact forces were calculated for each nose shape and the flat nose shape experienced impulsive forces between 25 N and 37 N when impacting vertically. The impact force for the flat nose decreased for the oblique entry case. Acoustic spectrograms showed that the sound produced during the water entry event predominately arises from the pinch-off for the cone and ogive nose shapes, with additional sound production from impact for the flat nose shape.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Water entry, axisymmetric, IMU, accelerometer, gyroscope, acoustics, cavity, impact, force, trajectory