Recently, much attention has been focused on the development of bio-mimetic underwater vehicles with a view to emulate the characteristics and performances of fishes and marine mammals. This study examines the thrust motions of batoids, which have excellent cruise and manoeuvrability characteristics during underwater movement. Numerical results concerning moving distance and velocity derived from batoid fin motions are studied. The commercial software package ADINA is employed for three-dimensional time-dependent fluid-structure interaction analysis. Following the numerical identification of fin motion under the simplified model of an actual cownose ray, a parameter design is performed to predict the optimal levels of fin width, thickness, frequency, and amplitude, and the significant factor effects of these in the design of experiments are discussed. This study also shows that fin frequency has strong interaction with amplitude and width. © Authors 2011.
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