Vortex Rings in Bio-Inspired and Biological Jet Propulsion
Pulsed-jets are commonly used for aquatic propulsion, such as squid and jellyfish locomotion. The sudden ejection of a jet with each pulse engenders the formation of a vortex ring through the roll-up of the jet shear layer. If the pulse is too long, the vortex ring will stop forming and the remainder of the pulse is ejected as a trailing jet. Recent results from mechanical pulsedjets have demonstrated that vortex rings lead to thrust augmentation through the acceleration of additional ambient fluid. This benefit is most pronounced for short pulses without trailing jets. Simulating vehicle motion by introducing background co-flow surrounding the jet has shown that vortex ring formation can be interrupted, but only if the co-flow is sufficiently fast. Recent in situ measurements on squid have captured vortical flows similar to those observed in the laboratory, suggesting thrust augmentation may play a role in their swimming performance. Likewise, recent measurements with a mechanical self-propelled pulsed-jet vehicle (“robosquid”) have shown a cruise-speed advantage obtained by pulsing.
Pietro VINCENZINI and Salvatore GRAZIANI
P. S. Krueger et al., "Vortex Rings in Bio-Inspired and Biological Jet Propulsion", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 58, pp. 237-246, 2008