Experimental study of the three-dimensional wake of a trapezoidal pitching panel

Justin T. King, Rajeev Kumar, Melissa A. Green

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Aquatic animals can maneuver and propel themselves through a variety of means, in­cluding the oscillation and undulation of flukes and fins. The motions of these can species develop thrust-producing, highly three-dimensional wakes. Experiments have shown that bio-inspired propulsors can operate with large propulsive efficiencies, with some efficien­cies being greater than those of a screw-propeller propulsion system. In the current work, stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) was used to characterize the wake pro­duced by a rigid, bio-inspired trapezoidal pitching panel. Detailed analysis in terms of Strouhal number is the focus of the current work, and the Strouhal number range tested was from 0.17 to 0.56. The results show that a highly three-dimensional wake structure develops, which is composed of interconnected streamwise and spanwise vortex tubes. The streamwise vortex tubes induce spanwise flow toward the midspan that drives a spanwise compression of the wake. An increase in Strouhal number results in the movement of the location of wake breakdown upstream and more exaggerated spanwise compression of the wake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103933
StatePublished - 2016
Event54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2016Jan 8 2016

Publication series

Name54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental study of the three-dimensional wake of a trapezoidal pitching panel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this