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Ship exhaust gas plume cooling

Author: Schleijpen, H.M.A. · Neele, P.P.
Publisher: SPIE
Place: Bellingham, WA
Institution: TNO Fysisch en Elektronisch Laboratorium
Source:Watkins, W.R.Clement, D.Reynolds, W.R., Targets and Backgrounds X: Characterization and Representation, 12-13 April 2004, Orlando, FL, USA, 66-76
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Identifier: 238227
doi: doi:10.1117/12.541132
Keywords: Machines · Exhaust gas radiation · Infrared signature · Signature suppression · Survivability · Atmospheric humidity · Diesel engines · Military applications · Seawater · Ships · Thermal plumes


The exhaust gas plume is an important and sometimes dominating contributor to the infrared signature of ships. Suppression of the infrared ship signatures has been studied by TNO for the Royal Netherlands Navy over considerable time. This study deals with the suppression effects, which can be achieved using a spray of cold water in the inner parts of the exhaust system. The effects are compared with the effect of cooling with air. A typical frigate size diesel engine serves as an example for gas flow, composition and temperature of the plume. The infrared emission of the cooled an un-cooled exhaust gases is calculated. Both the spectral behaviour and the integrated values over typical bands are discussed. Apart from the signature also some advantages of water exhaust gas cooling for the ship design are discussed.