Verification of CFD analysis methods for predicting the drag force and thrust power of an underwater disk robot

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ABSTRACT

This paper examines the suitability of using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools, ANSYSCFX, as an initial analysis tool for predicting the drag and propulsion performance (thrust and torque) of a concept underwater vehicle design. In order to select an appropriate thruster that will achieve the required speed of the Underwater Disk Robot (UDR), the ANSYS-CFX tools were used to predict the drag force of the UDR. Vertical Planar Motion Mechanism (VPMM) test simulations (i.e. pure heaving and pure pitching motion) by CFD motion analysis were carried out with the CFD software. The CFD results reveal the distribution of hydrodynamic values (velocity, pressure, etc.) of the UDR for these motion studies. Finally, CFD bollard pull test simulations were performed and compared with the experimental bollard pull test results conducted in a model basin. The experimental results confirm the suitability of using the ANSYS-CFX tools for predicting the behavior of concept vehicles early on in their design process.

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