Biologically Inspired Underwater Propulsion

The objective of the Office of Naval Research's Inspired Underwater Propulsion program is a fundamental understanding of the hydrodynamics of nontraditional propulsion and in particular, the physical origins of high efficiency propulsion by nontraditional means. An understanding of the relationship of wake structure, propulsor kinematics, morphometrics, fluid-structure interactions and passive/active flow control over the propulsor surfaces, to efficiency, maneuverability, quietness and speed of the propulsion.

Research concentration areas include:

  • 3D, time-resolved computational and experimental investigations into the kinematics, morphometrics and mechanical properties (such as flexibility and compliance) and their relationship to the 3D wake structure and efficiency, using a multidisciplinary approach, for example, structures/mechanics, materials, hydrodynamics, computational methods and underwater optical imaging.
  • Exploration of the relationship between propulsor hydroelastic effects and efficiency using a combined experimental and computational approach.
  • Research into effects of active and passive flow control around propulsive surface using a combined experimental and computational approach.
  • Non-traditional methods of propulsion which may include but is not limited to bio-inspired methods and unsteady propulsion.

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. Robert Brizzolara

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 33

Division: Sea Platforms and Weapons


Office of Naval Research
875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 1425
Arlington, Va., 22203

* Some pages on this website provide links which require a plug in to view.