Characterization of a Submersible In-line Pump as a Thrust Generator for Swimming Robots
Ghorbel, Fathi H.
Master of Science
Throughout history, machines have replaced human labor in many industries. Our machines have made it possible to transcend human limitations. In the present day, underwater robots have stretched the boundaries of what was previously thought impossible in terms of exploration, security and scientific discovery. These robots have become prevalent in a number of sectors and fields including the military, marine biology, oceanography and documentary production. As their applications become increasingly diverse, establishing precise control over the movement of these robots become more and more crucial. DC motors as force/torque generators for robots are well understood. We know exactly how much voltage must be applied to generate precise movement to achieve specifi c tasks. On the other hand, this is not the case for thrust generators for swimming robots due to the complexity of the dynamics of the combination of motor action with fluid/solid interactions. An in-line pump consists of a DC motor pumping fluid via a centrifugal pump through a tight space to generate thrust. Understanding of the dynamics of these interactions are vital if we are to establish accurate control over underwater robots. Through the mathematical modeling of ducted thrusters, computational analysis of fluid dynamics of ideal centrifugal pumps and a pendulum arm experimental setup, this research seeks to improve our understanding of the submersible in-line pumps as thrust generators for swimming robots.
In-line Pump; Centrifugal Pump; Swimming Robots; Thruster; Characterization