Silverstream acknowledges this concept has been around for quite some time, and it reminds me of the Masker part of the Navy’s Prairie-Masker systems. From Wikipedia:
The Masker portion typically consists of two bands fitted to the outside of the hull adjacent the vessel’s engine rooms, compressed air is then forced into the bands and escapes through machined perforations to create a barrier of air bubbles in the sea about the hull, thus trapping machinery noise within the hull where it is dissipated.
While obviously the goal of Masker was quite different (dissipating vessel noise/reduce acoustic signature) versus Silverstream’s (reduced hydrodynamic friction/increased fuel efficiency), I wonder if the USN ever researched their own system and noticed anything regarding fuel use. I know that the USN really doesn’t care about fuel efficiency, but it would be interesting to know this was looked at 60+ years ago and forgotten about.
Does anyone have any experience with either system?