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Open AccessArticle

Experimental Study of Body-Fin Interaction and Vortex Dynamics Generated by a Two Degree-Of-Freedom Fish Model

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4040067
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 24 September 2019 / Published: 8 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
Oscillatory modes of swimming are used by a majority of aquatic swimmers to generate thrust. This work seeks to understand the phenomenological relationship between the body and caudal fin for fast and efficient thunniform swimming. Phase-averaged velocity data was collected and analyzed in order to understand the effects of body-fin kinematics on the wake behind a two degree-of-freedom fish model. The model is based on the yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) which is known to be both fast and efficient. Velocity data was obtained along the side of the tail and caudal fin region as well as in the wake downstream of the caudal fin. Body-generated vortices were found to be small and have an insignificant effect on the caudal fin wake. The evolution of leading edge vortices formed on the caudal fin varied depending on the body-fin kinematics. The circulation produced at the trailing edge during each half-cycle was found to be relatively insensitive to the freestream velocity, but also varied with body-fin kinematics. Overall, the generation of vorticity in the wake was found to dependent on the trailing edge motion profile and velocity. Even relatively minor deviations from the commonly used model of sinusoidal motion is shown to change the strength and organization of coherent structures in the wake, which have been shown in the literature to be related to performance metrics such as thrust and efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological fluid dynamics; bio-propulsion; fish; swimming; body-fin interaction; vortex dynamics; leading edge vortices; circulation production; nonsinusoidal motion biological fluid dynamics; bio-propulsion; fish; swimming; body-fin interaction; vortex dynamics; leading edge vortices; circulation production; nonsinusoidal motion
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Brooks, S.A.; Green, M.A. Experimental Study of Body-Fin Interaction and Vortex Dynamics Generated by a Two Degree-Of-Freedom Fish Model. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 67.

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