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This paper outlines the design, modelling and construction of a biomimetic underwater vehicle with a propulsion system that is based on a tendon drive fish tail, similar to the tail in a real salmon. The undulatory motion of this tail system generates vortices along both sides of the vehicle and these, in turn produce the propulsive force. By controlling the central line for the tail motion the direction of the propulsive force can be altered and thus the vehicle can be manoeuvred in the desired manner. A mathematical model of this system, which draws from methods used for modelling conventional marine vehicles, is discussed. This model describes both the kinematics and dynamics of the system. Simulation results for the system show that this basic model provides a good foundation for further work into biomimetic underwater propulsion systems.
OCEANS 2007 - Europe
Date of Conference: 18-21 June 2007