CFD Approach to Modelling Hydrodynamic Characteristics of Underwater Glider

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Autonomous underwater gliders are buoyancy propelled vehicles. Their way of propulsion relies upon changing their buoyancy with internal pumping systems enabling them up and down motions, and their forward gliding motions are generated by hydrodynamic lift forces exerted on a pair of wings attached to a glider hull. In this study lift and drag characteristics of a glider were performed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach and results were compared with the literature. Flow behavior, lift and drag forces distribution at different angles of attack were studied for Reynolds numbers varying around 105 for NACA0012 wing configurations. The variable of the glider was the angle of attack, the velocity was constant. Flow velocity was 0.5 m/s and angle of the body varying from −8° to 8° in steps of 2°. Results from the CFD constituted the basis for the calculation the equations of motions of glider in the vertical plane. Therefore, vehicle motion simulation was achieved through numeric integration of the equations of motion. The equations of motions will be solved in the MatLab software. This work will contribute to dynamic modelling and three-dimensional motion simulation of a torpedo shaped underwater glider.

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