Naval propulsion is a critical component for every vessel, and it is the subject of this thesis, specifically bio-inspired propulsion. Numerical modeling is used as a tool to understand the relationship between mechanical undulation and the hydrodynamic response. Through three stages, the research presented here examines and refines tools for understanding fundamentals of undulating propulsion. Those three objectives are: to verify and validate the proposed numerical models against existing experiments, establishing a baseline of fidelity; to examine the causal linkage between fluid-boundary interactions and undulating propulsion; and to create a moment based method for characterizing generalized undulating propulsive mechanisms. First, a verification and validation effort is performed for three representative experiments which exhibit key characteristics of undulating propulsion. As a part of these validation efforts, uncertainty quantification is used to highlight and guide appropriate regions for CFD application. Second, parametric studies are performed on a simplified undulating bodies to generate an understanding of how localized mechanical deformations from a generic swimming motion, shape the unsteady fluid dynamics of the system. Finally, to quantify the performance and efficiency of various swimming motions, a moment based approach is developed which examines wake profiles and computes efficiency metrics. The sum total of these three efforts provides a unified, coherent understanding of common forms of undulating propulsion and can propel future work in the field.
Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace Engineering; Thermofluid Aerodynamic Systems Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Loubimov, George, "Efforts in Numerical Modeling of Undulating Propulsion" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 93.