Traveling-bubble cavitation inception tests were conducted in a 30.48 cm water tunnel with a Schiebe headform. A computer code was developed to statistically model cavitation inception on a Schiebe headform, consisting of a numerical solution to the Rayleigh-Plesset equation coupled to a set of trajectory equations. Using this code, trajectories and growths were computed for bubbles of varying initial sizes. An initial off-body distance was specified and the bubble was free to follow an off-body trajectory. A Monte Carlo cavitation simulation was performed in which a variety of random processes were modeled. Three different nuclei distributions were specified including one similar to that measured in the water tunnel experiment. The results compared favorably to the experiment. Cavitation inception was shown to be sensitive to nuclei distribution. Off-body effect was also found to be a significant factor in determining whether or not a bubble would cavitate. The effect of off-body trajectories on the critical bubble diameter was examined. The traditional definition of critical diameter based on the minimum pressure coefficient of the body or the measurement of liquid tension was found to be inadequate in defining cavitation inception.

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