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Flapping propulsion using a fin ray

  • S. Alben (a1)

We calculate optimal driving motions for a fin ray in a two-dimensional inviscid fluid, which is a model for caudal fin locomotion. The driving is sinusoidal in time, and consists of heaving, pitching and a less-studied motion called ‘shifting’. The optimal phases of shifting relative to heaving and pitching for maximum thrust power and efficiency are calculated. The optimal phases undergo jumps at resonant combinations of fin ray bending and shear moduli, and are nearly constant in regions between resonances. In two examples, pitching- and heaving-based motions converge with the addition of optimal shifting. Shifting provides an order-one increase in output power and efficiency.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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