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Optimal vortex formation in a self-propelled vehicle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2013

Robert W. Whittlesey
Affiliation:
Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories, California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
John O. Dabiri*
Affiliation:
Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories, California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 91125, USA Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
*Corresponding
Email address for correspondence: jodabiri@caltech.edu

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that the formation of coherent vortex rings in the near-wake of a self-propelled vehicle can increase propulsive efficiency compared with a steady jet wake. The present study utilizes a self-propelled vehicle to explore the dependence of propulsive efficiency on the vortex ring characteristics. The maximum propulsive efficiency was observed to occur when vortex rings were formed of the largest physical size, just before the leading vortex ring would pinch off from its trailing jet. These experiments demonstrate the importance of vortex ring pinch off in self-propelled vehicles, where coflow modifies the vortex dynamics.

Type
Papers
Copyright
©2013 Cambridge University Press 

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