By Colin Stewart
This research currently focuses on experimentally investigating and computationally modeling the swimming dynamics of Aurelia aurita, the moon jellyfish. Using flow visualization, particle image velocimetry, and commercial CFD software, the rowing mode of locomotion characteristic to this species is better understood so it may be used more efficiently in a biomimetic vehicle. Vital to the performance of rowing is the formation of vortex rings, shown by both the fish and a simulation in Figure 1, and of specific interest is how these are affected by the physical structure of the jellyfish.
Future research will focus on the fluid-structure interaction of trailing structures, such as oral arms and tentacles; particle capture (feeding); and the scaling of performance with the upper limits of size.