68th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 22, 2015 — November 24, 2015)

V0089: Fin Flexion and Flow Modulation in Manta’s Forward Swimming

  • Geng Liu, University of Virginia
  • Yan Ren, University of Virginia
  • Chengyu Li, University of Virginia
  • Haibo Dong, University of Virginia
  • Hilary Bart-Smith, University of Virginia
  • Frank Fish, West Chester University
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/APS.DFD.2015.GFM.V0089

Batoid fish such as manta rays (Manta birostris) and cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) are notable for their fast, efficient swimming and high maneuverability. These swimming capabilities arise from flapping of the dorsally flattened pectoral fins, which are also used as control surfaces for depth control and maneuvering. Recent observations in manta’s propulsion suggest that high efficiency in its locomotion can be attributed to the large bending of the distal part of the pectoral fin. The current effort is specifically focused on understanding the hydrodynamics in manta’s swimming. Results from 3D vortex dynamics analysis of the manta-inspired flows have shown that the fin flexion in both spanwise and chordwise direction plays an important role in the thrust production and the energy saving in manta’s propulsion. (This work was supported by the ONR MURI N00014-14-1-0533 and NSF CBET-1313217)

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