Biomimetic Investigation of Fish-Like Propulsion

Professor Qiang Zhu

Inspired by the efficient locomotion of fish, insects, and other creatures, innovative ocean vehicles that imitate animal propulsion and maneuvering are now being developed. This requires a multi-disciplinary effort involving unsteady fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, autonomous sensing and control, shipbuilding technology, as well as advanced materials.

UC San Diego researchers are developing state-of-the-art computer models to help us understand the underlying fluid-structure interactions in the locomotion of aquatic animals. They are also creating numerical tools for the design and operation of biomimetic flapping-foil actuators, which will be implemented on autonomous underwater vehicles, high-performance surface vehicles, and ocean energy harvesting devices.