Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Squid-inspired Design Could Mean Better Handling Of Underwater Vehicles

Date:
December 18, 2006
Source:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
Inspired by the sleek and efficient propulsion of squid, jellyfish and other cephalopods, a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher has designed a new generation of compact vortex generators that could make it easier for scientists to maneuver and dock underwater vehicles at low speeds and with greater precision.

Numerical simulations and the computational mesh around RAV.
Credit: Image courtesy of CU-Boulder

Inspired by the sleek and efficient propulsion of squid, jellyfish and other cephalopods, a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher has designed a new generation of compact vortex generators that could make it easier for scientists to maneuver and dock underwater vehicles at low speeds and with greater precision.

Related Articles


In addition, the technology - seemingly inspired by the plots of two classic sci-fi films - may soon allow doctors to guide tiny capsules with jet thrusters through the human digestive tract, enabling them to diagnose disease and dispense medications.

Kamran Mohseni, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering sciences, will present these and other details at the American Geophysical Union's annual fall meeting Dec. 11-15 in San Francisco. A global network of scientists, the AGU describes its mission as the advancement of terrestrial, atmospheric and space research aimed at benefiting humanity.

"Reliable docking mechanisms are essential for the operation of underwater vehicles, especially in harsh environments," Mohseni said. "We set out to resolve the trade off that many researchers settle for, which is a faster, but less precise, vehicle or a boxier one that is not as fast and more difficult to transport to work locations."

Manned and unmanned underwater vehicles enable scientific researchers to explore ecosystems around the globe, from undersea volcanoes near Hawaii to the frigid depths beneath pack ice in the North and South poles. However, while the torpedo shape of some underwater vehicles ensures rapid deployment and high cruising speeds with minimal energy, their hydrodynamic design makes them more difficult to maneuver or dock at low speeds and in tight spaces, or to hover in precise locations.

Underwater craft with boxier designs are easier to dock and maneuver, but speed is sacrificed in the process. The vortex thrusters designed by CU-Boulder researchers offer speed with versatility and may enable researchers to explore previously inaccessible places. Currently, many designers are trying to devise better docking systems for underwater vehicles, but Mohseni said he and his collaborators wanted to improve the watercrafts' actual maneuvering capabilities.

"We didn't want to treat the symptom alone," he said. "We made it our goal to resolve a widespread problem."

Mohseni created his new generators after studying the formation of vortex rings, much like those formed by squid and jellyfish to move themselves underwater. Vortex rings are formed when a burst of fluid shoots out of an opening, moving in one direction and spreading out as it curls back.

The researcher's nature-inspired vortex generators could be used in a wide array of applications. One of them, a seeming take-off of technology featured in the sci-fi cult classics "Fantastic Voyage" and "Innerspace," employs tiny capsules that could travel through the human digestive tract to diagnose and treat diseases and disperse medications.

To date, Mohseni and his collaborators in the CU-Boulder aerospace engineering department have designed and tested three separate unmanned underwater vehicles. With the latest model, the team successfully conducted a parallel parking test. The team also has designed a series of other micro vehicles for air and underwater use. A National Science Foundation grant is funding their research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado at Boulder. "Squid-inspired Design Could Mean Better Handling Of Underwater Vehicles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212213353.htm>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2006, December 18). Squid-inspired Design Could Mean Better Handling Of Underwater Vehicles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212213353.htm
University of Colorado at Boulder. "Squid-inspired Design Could Mean Better Handling Of Underwater Vehicles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212213353.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

Buzz60 (Nov. 21, 2014) British company GENeco debuted what its calling the Bio-Bus, a bus fueled entirely by biomethane gas produced from food scraps and sewage. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins