PowerSwim by Jay Lowell, DSO Program Manager
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The PowerSwim Program is developing highly efficient, human-powered swimming devices for use by combat and reconnaissance swimmers. This program explores a new concept in swimming propulsion that uses the same oscillating foil approach to swimming that is exhibited by many fish and aquatic birds. This propulsion approach is more than 80-percent efficient in conversion of human motions to forward propulsion. Typical recreational swim fins are no more than 15-percent efficient in their conversion of human exertion to propulsive power. This dramatic improvement in swimming efficiency will enable subsurface swimmers to move up to two times faster than iscurrently possible, thus improving swimmer performance, safety, and range.