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Simulated and experimental estimates of hydrodynamic drag from bio-logging tags

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  • Ding Zhang, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • ,
  • Julie M. van der Hoop, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • ,
  • Victor Petrov, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • ,
  • Julie Rocho-Levine, Dolphin Quest
  • ,
  • Michael J. Moore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • ,
  • K. Alex Shorter, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Drag force acting on swimming marine mammals is difficult to measure directly. Researchers often use simple modeling and kinematic measurements from animals, or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to estimate drag. However, studies that compare these methods are lacking. Here, computational simulation and physical experiments were used to estimate drag forces on gliding bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). To facilitate comparison, variable drag loading (no-tag, tag, tag + 4, tag + 8) was used to increase force in both simulations and experiments. During the experiments, two dolphins were trained to perform controlled glides with variable loading. CFD simulations of dolphin/tag geometry in steady flow (1–6 m/s) were used to model drag forces. We expect both techniques will capture relative changes created by experimental conditions, but absolute forces predicted by the methods will differ. CFD estimates were within a calculated 90% confidence interval of the experimental results for all but the tag condition. Relative drag increase predicted by the simulation vs. experiment, respectively, differed by between 21% and 31%: tag, 4% vs. 33%; tag + 4, 47% vs. 68%; and tag + 8, 108% vs. 77%. The results from this work provide a direct comparison of computational and experimental estimates of drag, and provide a framework to quantify uncertainty.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMarine Mammal Science
Vol/bind36
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)136-157
Antal sider22
ISSN0824-0469
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2020

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