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Stingray`s movement to inspire next gen submarines

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Stingray`s movement to inspire next gen submarines
Stingray`s movement to inspire next gen submarines

Washington – Researchers are studying how Stingray`s movement could be used to design more agile and fuel-efficient unmanned underwater vehicles.

The vehicles could allow Researchers from the University at Buffalo and Harvard University to more efficiently study the mostly unexplored ocean depths, and they could also serve during clean up or rescue efforts.

Richard Bottom, a UB mechanical engineering graduate student participating in the research, said that most fish wag their tails to swim, asserting that a stingray’s swimming is much more unique, like a flag in the wind.

Bottom and Iman Borazjani, UB assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, set out to investigate the form-function relationship of the stingray — why it looks the way it does and what it gets from moving the way it does.

The researchers used computational fluid dynamics that employs algorithms to solve problems that involve fluid flows, to map the flow of water and the vortices around live stingrays.

The vortices on the waves of the stingrays’ bodies cause favorable pressure fields – low pressure on the front and high pressure on the back – which push the ray forward. Because movement through air and water are similar, understanding vortices are critical.

Studies have already proven that stingray motion closely resembles the most optimal swimming gait, this happens because of stingray’s unique flat and round shape, which allows them to easily glide through water.

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