Thrust-producing harmonically oscillating foils are studied through force and power measurements, as well as visualization data, to classify the principal characteristics of the flow around and in the wake of the foil. Visualization data are obtained using digital particle image velocimetry at Reynolds number 1100, and force and power data are measured at Reynolds number 40 000. The experimental results are compared with theoretical predictions of linear and nonlinear inviscid theory and it is found that agreement between theory and experiment is good over a certain parametric range, when the wake consists of an array of alternating vortices and either very weak or no leading-edge vortices form. High propulsive efficiency, as high as 87%, is measured experimentally under conditions of optimal wake formation. Visualization results elucidate the basic mechanisms involved and show that conditions of high efficiency are associated with the formation on alternating sides of the foil of a moderately strong leading-edge vortex per half-cycle, which is convected downstream and interacts with trailing-edge vorticity, resulting eventually in the formation of a reverse Kármán street. The phase angle between transverse oscillation and angular motion is the critical parameter affecting the interaction of leading-edge and trailingedge vorticity, as well as the efficiency of propulsion. IntroductionFish and cetaceans employ their oscillating tails to produce propulsive and maneuvering forces. The tails of some of the fastest swimming animals closely resemble high-aspect-ratio foils. Because of the presumed optimal propulsive performance of fish, oscillating foils have been studied extensively using theoretical and numerical techniques (Lighthill 1975;Wu 1961Wu , 1971Longvinovich 1971;Cheng & Murillo 1984;Karpouzian, Spedding & Cheng 1990;McCune & Tavares 1993), and experimentally (Scherer 1968;DeLaurier & Harris 1982;Lai, Bose & McGregor 1993).A foil in steady forward motion and a combination of steady-state harmonic heaving and pitching motion produces thrust through the formation of a flow downstream from the trailing edge, which when averaged over one period of oscillation has the form of a jet. This average jet flow is unstable, acting as a narrow-band amplifier of perturbations. The harmonic motion of the foil causes unsteady shedding of vorticity from the trailing edge, while there are conditions when leading-edge vortices form as well. The interaction between the unsteady vorticity shed by the foil and the inherent dynamics of the unstable wake result in the formation of patterns of
Fishes moving through turbulent flows or in formation are regularly exposed to vortices. Although animals living in fluid environments commonly capture energy from vortices, experimental data on the hydrodynamics and neural control of interactions between fish and vortices are lacking. We used quantitative flow visualization and electromyography to show that trout will adopt a novel mode of locomotion to slalom in between experimentally generated vortices by activating only their anterior axial muscles. Reduced muscle activity during vortex exploitation compared with the activity of fishes engaged in undulatory swimming suggests a decrease in the cost of locomotion and provides a mechanism to understand the patterns of fish distributions in schools and riverine environments.
SUMMARYMost fishes commonly experience unsteady flows and hydrodynamic perturbations during their lifetime. In this study, we provide evidence that rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss voluntarily alter their body kinematics when interacting with vortices present in the environment that are not self-generated. To demonstrate this, we measured axial swimming kinematics in response to changes in known hydrodynamic wake characteristics. We compared trout swimming in the Kármán street behind different diameter cylinders (2.5 and 5 cm) at two flow speeds (2.5 and 4.5 Ls-1, where L is total body length) to trout swimming in the free stream and in the cylinder bow wake. Trout swimming behind cylinders adopt a distinctive, previously undescribed pattern of movement in order to hold station, which we term the Kármán gait. During this gait,body amplitudes and curvatures are much larger than those of trout swimming at an equivalent flow velocity in the absence of a cylinder. Tail-beat frequency is not only lower than might be expected for a trout swimming in the reduced flow behind a cylinder, but also matches the vortex shedding frequency of the cylinder. Therefore, in addition to choosing to be in the slower flow velocity offered behind a cylinder (drafting), trout are also altering their body kinematics to synchronize with the shed vortices (tuning), using a mechanism that may not involve propulsive locomotion. This behavior is most distinctive when cylinder diameter is large relative to fish length. While tuning, trout have a longer body wavelength than the prescribed wake wavelength, indicating that only certain regions of the body may need to be oriented in a consistent manner to the oncoming vortices. Our results suggest that fish can capture energy from vortices generated by the environment to maintain station in downstream flow. Interestingly, trout swimming in front of a cylinder display lower tail-beat amplitudes and body wave speeds than trout subjected to any of the other treatments, implying that the bow wake may be the most energetically favorable region for a fish to hold station near a cylinder.
LETTERSThe purpose of thtk Letters section is to provide rapid dissemination of important new results in theJields regularly covered by Physics of Fluids A. Results of extended research should not be presented as a series of letters in place of comprehensive articles. Letters cannot exceed three printed pages in length, including space allowed for title, figures, tables, references and an abstract limited to about 100 words. There is a three-month time timit, from date of receipt to acceptance, for processing Letter manuscripts. Authors must also submit a brief statement justifying rapid publication in the Letters section.Foils oscillating transversely to an oncoming uniform flow produce, under certain conditions, thrust. It is shown through experimental data from flapping foils and data from fish observation that thrust develops through the formation of a reverse von K&man street whose preferred Strouhal number is between 0.25 and 0.35, and that optimal foil efficiency is achieved within this Strouhal range.
A dead fish is propelled upstream when its flexible body resonates with oncoming vortices formed in the wake of a bluff cylinder, despite being well outside the suction region of the cylinder. Within this passive propulsion mode, the body of the fish extracts sufficient energy from the oncoming vortices to develop thrust to overcome its own drag. In a similar turbulent wake and at roughly the same distance behind a bluff cylinder, a passively mounted high-aspect-ratio foil is also shown to propel itself upstream employing a similar flow energy extraction mechanism. In this case, mechanical energy is extracted from the flow at the same time that thrust is produced. These results prove experimentally that, under proper conditions, a body can follow at a distance or even catch up to another upstream body without expending any energy of its own. This observation is also significant in the development of low-drag energy harvesting devices, and in the energetics of fish dwelling in flowing water and swimming behind wake-forming obstacles.
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