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Symmetry Breaking For Biomimetic Locomotion

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Flapping wings or fins are commonly used by flying or swimming animals for locomotion through a fluid. This strategy has also been implemented to design underwater vehicles using flapping propellers for propulsion. To understand such thrust generation mechanisms, we propose a self-propelled model, by considering an elliptical foil for 2D assumption or an oblate spheroid for 3D situations, which undergoes purely vertical sinusoidal oscillation. Both linear stability analysis and direct numerical simulation are applied to investigate how a symmetric motion would lead to a symmetry breaking for the flow around the propeller, and ultimately result in irregular or unidirectional locomotion.

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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