REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, THE
This research program addresses the fundamental science of jet and vortex propulsion by Cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, etc) and Medusa (Jellyfish) in contrast to more well-investigated aquatic locomotion through body and fin undulations like most fish. We plan a hybrid experimental, computational, and theoretical approach to understand and advance hydrodynamics and biomimicry of aquatic jet propulsion. The research plan has three main thrusts Kinematic Investigation, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Experimentation and Biomimicry. A squid care and storage facility will be built for investigation on aquatic thrust-generation mechanism by jet and vortex flow. High-speed photography and flow visualization will provide kinematic data for the squid mantle cavity and siphon during several flow regimes including escape and maneuver. These new simultaneous and detailed measurements are needed for direct numerical simulation of squid locomotion based on the measured kinematic data. In addition, the swimming performances such as swimming velocity, thrust, power requirement and efficiency can be computed directly. The knowledge gained in the kinematic and CFD studies will be translated into engineering design and testing of bio-inspired actuators for effective underwater propulsion. The actuators will be modeled and experimentally characterized. Design of reliable underwater vehicles for sensor networking is playing a major role in National and Homeland Security and costal area protection. Efficient Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are needed for long-term operation in oceans for coastal area monitoring and protection and data collection related to global warming. This project provides an application focus that will be of interest to researchers and students working in ocean engineering, vehicle systems, and biologists. Undergraduate research assistants will be sought via supplementary REU support. The PI intends to develop a course on bio-propulsion while existing disciplinary courses will be enriched with this work, expanding student multidisciplinary exposure. A summer Bio-propulsion Summer Camp for local secondary school students to participate in a week-long educational activity and an International Exchange Student Program, initiated by the PI, will be expanded.