Nonlinear Models and Geometric Structure of Fluid Forcing on Moving Bodies
Nave Jr, Gary Kirk
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This dissertation presents useful nonlinear models for fluid forcing on a moving body in two distinct contexts, and methods for analyzing the geometric structure within those and other mathematical models. This manuscript style dissertation presents three works within the theme of understanding fluid forcing and geometric structure. When a bluff body is free to move in the presence of an incoming bluff body wake, the average forcing on the body is dependent on its position relative to the upstream bluff body. This position-dependent forcing can be conceptualized as a stiffness, much like a spring. This work presents an updated model for the quasi-steady fluid forcing of a wake and extends the notion of wake stiffness to consider a nonlinear spring. These results are compared with kinematic experimental results to provide an example of the application of this framework. Fluid force models also play a role in understanding the behavior of passive aerodynamic gliders, such as gliding animals or plant material. The forces a glider experiences depend on the angle that its body makes with respect to its direction of motion. Modeling the glider as capable of pitch control, this work considers a glider with a fixed angle with respect to the ground. Within this model, all trajectories in velocity space collapse to a 1-dimensional invariant manifold known as the terminal velocity manifold. This work presents methods to identify the terminal velocity manifold, investigates its properties, and extends it to a 2-dimensional invariant manifold in a 3-dimensional space. Finally, in the search for manifolds such as the terminal velocity manifold, this dissertation introduces a new diagnostic for identifying the low dimensional geometric structure of models. The trajectory divergence rate uses instantaneous vector field information to identify regions of large normal stretching and strong normal convergence between nearby invariant manifolds. This work lays out the mathematical basis of the trajectory divergence rate and shows its application to approximate a variety of structures including slow manifolds and Lagrangian coherent structures. This dissertation applies nonlinear theoretical and numerical techniques to analyze models of fluid forcing and their geometric structure. The tools developed in this dissertation lay the groundwork for future research in the fields of flow-induced vibration, plant and animal biomechanics, and dynamical systems.
General Audience Abstract
When an object moves through a fluid such as air or water, the motion of the surrounding fluid generates forces on the moving object, affecting its motion. The moving object, in turn, affects the motion of the surrounding fluid. This interaction is complicated, nonlinear, and hard to even simulate numerically. This dissertation aims to analyze simplified models for these interactions in a way that gives a deeper understanding of the physics of the interaction between an object and a surrounding fluid. In order to understand these interactions, this dissertation looks at the geometric structure of the models. Very often, there are low-dimensional points, curves, or surfaces which have a very strong effect on the behavior of the system. The search for these geometric structures is another key theme of this dissertation. This dissertation presents three independent studies, with an introduction and conclusion to discuss the overall themes. The first work focuses on the forces acting on a cylinder in the wake of another cylinder. These forces are important to understand, because the vibrations that arise from wake forcing are important to consider when designing bridges, power cables, or pipes to carry oil from the ocean floor to offshore oil platforms. Previous studies have shown that the wake of a circular cylinder acts like a spring, pulling harder on the downstream cylinder the more it is moved from the center of the wake. In this work, I extend this idea of the wake as a spring to consider a nonlinear spring, which keeps the same idea, but provides a more accurate representation of the forces involved. The second work considers a simple model of gliding flight, relevant to understanding the behavior of gliding animals, falling leaves, or passive engineered gliders. Within this model, a key geometric feature exists on which the majority of the motion of the glider occurs, representing a 2-dimensional analogy to terminal velocity. In this work, I study the properties of this influential curve, show several ways to identify it, and extend the idea to a surface in a 3-dimensional model. The third study of this dissertation introduces a new mathematical quantity for studying models of systems, for fluid-body interaction problems, ocean flows, chemical reactions, or any other system that can be modeled as a vector field. This quantity, the trajectory divergence rate, provides an easily computed measurement of highly attracting or repelling regions of the states of a model, which can be used to identify influential geometric structures. This work introduces the quantity, discusses its properties, and shows its application to a variety of systems.
- Doctoral Dissertations