Vortex evolution in the wake of accelerating low-aspect-ratio plates and three-dimensional bodies of revolution
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To find examples of effecient locomotion and manoeuvrability, one need only turn to the elegant solutions natural flyers and swimmers have converged upon. This dissertation is specifically motivated by processes of evolutionary convergence, which have led to the propulsors and body shapes in nature that exhibit strong geometric collapse over diverse scales. These body features are abstracted in the studies presented herein using low-aspect-ratio at plates and a three-dimensional body of revolution (a sphere). The highly-separated vortical wakes that develop during accelerations are systematically characterized as a function of planform shape, aspect ratio, Reynolds number, and initial boundary conditions. To this end, force measurements and time-resolved (planar) particle image velocimetry have been used throughout to quantify the instantaneous forces and vortex evolution in the wake of the bluff bodies. During rectilinear motions, the wake development for the flat plates is primarily dependent on plate aspect ratio, with edge discontinuities and curvature playing only a secondary role. Furthermore, the axisymmetric case, i.e. the circular plate, shows strong sensitivity to Reynolds number, while this sensitivity quickly diminishes with increasing aspect ratio. For rotational motions, global insensitivity to plate aspect ratio has been observed. For the sphere, it has been shown that accelerations play an important role in the mitigation of flow separation. These results - expounded upon in this dissertation - have begun to shed light on the specific vortex dynamics that may be coopted by flying and swimming species of all shapes and sizes towards efficient locomotion.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/15301
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