Towards passive station holding of autonomous underwater vehicles inspired by fish behaviour in unsteady flows

Phillips, A.B.; Blake, J.I.R.; Boyd, S.W.; Griffiths, G.. 2015 Towards passive station holding of autonomous underwater vehicles inspired by fish behaviour in unsteady flows. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment, 230 (4). 551-565.

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© 2015 by SAGE Publications This document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The final publication is available at
JEME_REVISED.pdf - Accepted Version

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Some species of fish are able to alter their mode of swimming to interact with naturally produced vortices; the use of these gaits reduces the energy expended by the fish. To analyse the feasibility of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) replicating these gaits, a series of experiments are performed with unpowered rigid and flexible bodies positioned in the Kármán wake of a rigid cylinder. Simple motion capture techniques are used to capture the bodies’ lateral and upstream motion in the flow. The results demonstrate that manufactured bodies are capable of passively mimicking fish behaviours, to a limited extent. More importantly, it was concluded that while significant upstream movement was possible for a manufactured object, it was achievable irrespective of the stiffness of the material. For AUVs operating in unsteady flow regimes an ability to utilise energy saving gaits may improve the range or operational time.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1475-0902
Additional Keywords: Marine craft; design; autonomous underwater vehicles; station holdin;g bio-inspired; flexible bodies
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 11 Aug 2015 10:57 +0 (UTC)

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