Special Issue "Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion"

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Keith W. Moored
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University, PA, USA
Interests: bio-fluids and mechanics; bioinspired engineering; fluid–structure interactions
Prof. George V. Lauder
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
The Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Interests: biomechanics of aquatic locomotion; musculoskeletal function; biological fluid mechanics; history and philosophy of morphology and physiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research into biological and bioinspired propulsion has had substantial growth over the past three decades. However, most of the research has focused on the performance and flow physics of isolated swimmers or propulsors. Now, investigators are turning their attention to understanding the interactions between multiple swimmers in a collective, or between a swimmer and a boundary, or even between multiple propulsors on the same animal. In this Special Issue we want to highlight research that is tackling the challenging subject of interactions in biological and bioinspired propulsion.

Dr. Keith W. Moored
Prof. George V. Lauder
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • schooling or collective interactions
  • ground, free surface, or boundary interaction
  • body–fin, fin–fin or multiple propulsor interactions

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Flow Interactions Between Low Aspect Ratio Hydrofoils in In-line and Staggered Arrangements
Biomimetics 2020, 5(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5020013 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Many species of fish gather in dense collectives or schools where there are significant flow interactions from their shed wakes. Commonly, these swimmers shed a classic reverse von Kármán wake, however, schooling eels produce a bifurcated wake topology with two vortex rings shed [...] Read more.
Many species of fish gather in dense collectives or schools where there are significant flow interactions from their shed wakes. Commonly, these swimmers shed a classic reverse von Kármán wake, however, schooling eels produce a bifurcated wake topology with two vortex rings shed per oscillation cycle. To examine the schooling interactions of a hydrofoil with a bifurcated wake topology, we present tomographic particle image velocimetry (tomo PIV) measurements of the flow interactions and direct force measurements of the performance of two low-aspect-ratio hydrofoils ( A R = 0.5 ) in an in-line and a staggered arrangement. Surprisingly, when the leader and follower are interacting in either arrangement there are only minor alterations to the flowfields beyond the superposition of the flowfields produced by the isolated leader and follower. Motivated by this finding, Garrick’s linear theory, a linear unsteady hydrofoil theory based on a potential flow assumption, was adapted to predict the lift and thrust performance of the follower. Here, the follower hydrofoil interacting with the leader’s wake is considered as the superposition of an isolated pitching foil with a time-varying cross-stream velocity derived from the wake flow measurements of the isolated leader. Linear theory predictions accurately capture the time-averaged lift force and some of the major peaks in thrust derived from the follower interacting with the leader’s wake in a staggered arrangement. The thrust peaks that are not predicted by linear theory are likely driven by spatial variations in the flowfield acting on the follower or nonlinear flow interactions; neither of which are accounted for in the simple theory. This suggests that unsteady potential flow theory that does account for spatial variations in the flowfield acting on a hydrofoil can provide a relatively simple framework to understand and model the flow interactions that occur in schooling fish. Additionally, schooling eels can derive thrust and efficiency increases of 63-80% in either a in-line or a staggered arrangement where the follower is between two branched momentum jets or with one momentum jet branch directly impinging on it, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Flow Sensing for Schooling Swimmers
Biomimetics 2020, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5010010 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fish schooling implies an awareness of the swimmers for their companions. In flow mediated environments, in addition to visual cues, pressure and shear sensors on the fish body are critical for providing quantitative information that assists the quantification of proximity to other fish. [...] Read more.
Fish schooling implies an awareness of the swimmers for their companions. In flow mediated environments, in addition to visual cues, pressure and shear sensors on the fish body are critical for providing quantitative information that assists the quantification of proximity to other fish. Here we examine the distribution of sensors on the surface of an artificial swimmer so that it can optimally identify a leading group of swimmers. We employ Bayesian experimental design coupled with numerical simulations of the two-dimensional Navier Stokes equations for multiple self-propelled swimmers. The follower tracks the school using information from its own surface pressure and shear stress. We demonstrate that the optimal sensor distribution of the follower is qualitatively similar to the distribution of neuromasts on fish. Our results show that it is possible to identify accurately the center of mass and the number of the leading swimmers using surface only information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
The Ground Effect in Anguilliform Swimming
Biomimetics 2020, 5(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5010009 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Some anguilliform swimmers such as eels and lampreys swim near the ground, which has been hypothesized to have hydrodynamic benefits. To investigate whether swimming near ground has hydrodynamics benefits, two large-eddy simulations of a self-propelled anguilliform swimmer are carried out—one swimming far away [...] Read more.
Some anguilliform swimmers such as eels and lampreys swim near the ground, which has been hypothesized to have hydrodynamic benefits. To investigate whether swimming near ground has hydrodynamics benefits, two large-eddy simulations of a self-propelled anguilliform swimmer are carried out—one swimming far away from the ground (free swimming) and the other near the ground, that is, midline at 0.07 of fish length (L) from the ground creating a gap of 0.04 L . Simulations are carried out under similar conditions with both fish starting from rest in a quiescent flow and reaching steady swimming (constant average speed). The numerical results show that both swimmers have similar speed, power consumption, efficiency, and wake structure during steady swimming. This indicates that swimming near the ground with a gap larger than 0.04 L does not improve the swimming performance of anguilliform swimmers when there is no incoming flow, that is, the interaction of the wake with the ground does not improve swimming performance. When there is incoming flow, however, swimming near the ground may help because the flow has lower velocities near the ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Experiments and Agent Based Models of Zooplankton Movement within Complex Flow Environments
Biomimetics 2020, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5010002 - 05 Jan 2020
Abstract
The movement of plankton is often dictated by local flow patterns, particularly during storms and in environments with strong flows. Reefs, macrophyte beds, and other immersed structures can provide shelter against washout and drastically alter the distributions of plankton as these structures redirect [...] Read more.
The movement of plankton is often dictated by local flow patterns, particularly during storms and in environments with strong flows. Reefs, macrophyte beds, and other immersed structures can provide shelter against washout and drastically alter the distributions of plankton as these structures redirect and slow the flows through them. Advection–diffusion and agent-based models are often used to describe the movement of plankton within marine and fresh water environments and across multiple scales. Experimental validation of such models of plankton movement within complex flow environments is challenging because of the difference in both time and spatial scales. Organisms on the scale of 1 mm or less swim by beating their appendages on the order of 1 Hz and are advected meters to kilometers over days, weeks, and months. One approach to study this challenging multiscale problem is to insert actively moving agents within a background flow field. Open source tools to implement this sort of approach are, however, limited. In this paper, we combine experiments and computational fluid dynamics with a newly developed agent-based modeling platform to quantify plankton movement at the scale of tens of centimeters. We use Artemia spp., or brine shrimp, as a model organism given their availability and ease of culturing. The distribution of brine shrimp over time was recorded in a flow tank with simplified physical models of macrophytes. These simplified macrophyte models were 3D-printed arrays of cylinders of varying heights and densities. Artemia nauplii were injected within these arrays, and their distributions over time were recorded with video. The detailed three-dimensional flow fields were quantified using computational fluid dynamics and validated experimentally with particle image velocimetry. To better quantify plankton distributions, we developed an agent-based modeling framework, Planktos, to simulate the movement of plankton immersed within such flow fields. The spatially and temporally varying Artemia distributions were compared across models of varying heights and densities for both the experiments and the agent-based models. The results show that increasing the density of the macrophyte bed drastically increases the average time it takes the plankton to be swept downstream. The height of the macrophyte bed had less of an effect. These effects were easily observed in both experimental studies and in the agent-based simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Fluid Dynamical Effects of Synchronization in Side-by-Side Swimmers
Biomimetics 2019, 4(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4040077 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In-phase and anti-phase synchronization of neighboring swimmers is examined experimentally using two self-propelled independent flexible foils swimming side-by-side in a water tank. The foils are actuated by pitching oscillations at one extremity—the head of the swimmers—and the flow engendered by their undulations is [...] Read more.
In-phase and anti-phase synchronization of neighboring swimmers is examined experimentally using two self-propelled independent flexible foils swimming side-by-side in a water tank. The foils are actuated by pitching oscillations at one extremity—the head of the swimmers—and the flow engendered by their undulations is analyzed using two-dimensional particle image velocimetry in their frontal symmetry plane. Following recent observations on the behavior of real fish, we focus on the comparison between in-phase and anti-phase actuation by fixing all other geometric and kinematic parameters. We show that swimming with a neighbor is beneficial for both synchronizations tested, as compared to swimming alone, with an advantage for the anti-phase synchronization. We show that the advantage of anti-phase synchronization in terms of swimming performance for the two-foil “school” results from the emergence of a periodic coherent jet between the two swimmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study of Body-Fin Interaction and Vortex Dynamics Generated by a Two Degree-Of-Freedom Fish Model
Biomimetics 2019, 4(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4040067 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Maneuvering Performance in the Colonial Siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030062 - 05 Sep 2019
Abstract
The colonial cnidarian, Nanomia bijuga, is highly proficient at moving in three-dimensional space through forward swimming, reverse swimming and turning. We used high speed videography, particle tracking, and particle image velocimetry (PIV) with frame rates up to 6400 s−1 to study [...] Read more.
The colonial cnidarian, Nanomia bijuga, is highly proficient at moving in three-dimensional space through forward swimming, reverse swimming and turning. We used high speed videography, particle tracking, and particle image velocimetry (PIV) with frame rates up to 6400 s−1 to study the kinematics and fluid mechanics of N. bijuga during turning and reversing. N. bijuga achieved turns with high maneuverability (mean length–specific turning radius, R/L = 0.15 ± 0.10) and agility (mean angular velocity, ω = 104 ± 41 deg. s−1). The maximum angular velocity of N. bijuga, 215 deg. s−1, exceeded that of many vertebrates with more complex body forms and neurocircuitry. Through the combination of rapid nectophore contraction and velum modulation, N. bijuga generated high speed, narrow jets (maximum = 1063 ± 176 mm s−1; 295 nectophore lengths s−1) and thrust vectoring, which enabled high speed reverse swimming (maximum = 134 ± 28 mm s−1; 37 nectophore lengths s−1) that matched previously reported forward swimming speeds. A 1:1 ratio of forward to reverse swimming speed has not been recorded in other swimming organisms. Taken together, the colonial architecture, simple neurocircuitry, and tightly controlled pulsed jets by N. bijuga allow for a diverse repertoire of movements. Considering the further advantages of scalability and redundancy in colonies, N. bijuga is a model system for informing underwater propulsion and navigation of complex environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing Models of Lateral Station-Keeping for Pitching Hydrofoils
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030051 - 22 Jul 2019
Abstract
Fish must maneuver laterally to maintain their position in schools or near solid boundaries. Unsteady hydrodynamic models, such as the Theodorsen and Garrick models, predict forces on tethered oscillating hydrofoils aligned with the incoming flow. How well these models predict forces when bio-inspired [...] Read more.
Fish must maneuver laterally to maintain their position in schools or near solid boundaries. Unsteady hydrodynamic models, such as the Theodorsen and Garrick models, predict forces on tethered oscillating hydrofoils aligned with the incoming flow. How well these models predict forces when bio-inspired hydrofoils are free to move laterally or when angled relative to the incoming flow is unclear. We tested the ability of five linear models to predict a small lateral adjustment made by a hydrofoil undergoing biased pitch oscillations. We compared the models to water channel tests in which air bushings gave a rigid pitching hydrofoil lateral freedom. What we found is that even with no fitted coefficients, linear models predict some features of the lateral response, particularly high frequency features like the amplitude and phase of passive heave oscillations. To predict low frequency features of the response, such as overshoot and settling time, we needed a semiempirical model based on tethered force measurements. Our results suggest that fish and fish-inspired vehicles could use linear models for some aspects of lateral station-keeping, but would need nonlinear or semiempirical wake models for more advanced maneuvers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrodynamics of Vortex Generation during Bell Contraction by the Hydromedusa Eutonina indicans (Romanes, 1876)
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030044 - 05 Jul 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Swimming bell kinematics and hydrodynamic wake structures were documented during multiple pulsation cycles of a Eutonina indicans (Romanes, 1876) medusa swimming in a predominantly linear path. Bell contractions produced pairs of vortex rings with opposite rotational sense. Analyses of the momentum flux in [...] Read more.
Swimming bell kinematics and hydrodynamic wake structures were documented during multiple pulsation cycles of a Eutonina indicans (Romanes, 1876) medusa swimming in a predominantly linear path. Bell contractions produced pairs of vortex rings with opposite rotational sense. Analyses of the momentum flux in these wake structures demonstrated that vortex dynamics related directly to variations in the medusa swimming speed. Furthermore, a bulk of the momentum flux in the wake was concentrated spatially at the interfaces between oppositely rotating vortices rings. Similar thrust-producing wake structures have been described in models of fish swimming, which posit vortex rings as vehicles for energy transport from locations of body bending to regions where interacting pairs of opposite-sign vortex rings accelerate the flow into linear propulsive jets. These findings support efforts toward soft robotic biomimetic propulsion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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Open AccessArticle
Passing the Wake: Using Multiple Fins to Shape Forces for Swimming
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010023 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Fish use coordinated motions of multiple fins and their body to swim and maneuver underwater with more agility than contemporary unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The location, utilization and kinematics of fins vary for different locomotory tasks and fish species. The relative position and [...] Read more.
Fish use coordinated motions of multiple fins and their body to swim and maneuver underwater with more agility than contemporary unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The location, utilization and kinematics of fins vary for different locomotory tasks and fish species. The relative position and timing (phase) of fins affects how the downstream fins interact with the wake shed by the upstream fins and body, and change the magnitude and temporal profile of the net force vector. A multifin biorobotic experimental platform and a two-dimensional computational fluid dynamic simulation were used to understand how the propulsive forces produced by multiple fins were affected by the phase and geometric relationships between them. This investigation has revealed that forces produced by interacting fins are very different from the vector sum of forces from combinations of noninteracting fins, and that manipulating the phase and location of multiple interacting fins greatly affect the magnitude and shape of the produced propulsive forces. The changes in net forces are due, in large part, to time-varying wakes from dorsal and anal fins altering the flow experienced by the downstream body and caudal fin. These findings represent a potentially powerful means of manipulating the swimming forces produced by multifinned robotic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
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