Flow Around an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle With Bio-Inspired Coating
Bocanegra Evans, Humberto
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Flow separation is a major factor in the form drag experienced by a moving object. In particular, suppressing or reducing flow separation is critical in the reduction of energy expenditure of autonomous underwater vehicles. Previous research suggests that bio-inspired micro-fibrillar structures are capable of reducing the boundary layer separation in a turbulent flow. Here, we present laboratory measurements using particle tracking velocimetry near the wall of two submersible vessel models: one coated with an array of micro-fibers and a second one with smooth walls. The flow around the vessels was enticed by the ordered fibers to remain closer to the wall of the vessel. The experiments suggest that separation of the flow may be reduced by the use of the bio-inspired fibers.