Bio-inspired control surfaces for the unmanned underwater vehicles

V. Pavlov(1), B. Rosental(1)

Our recent finding of the hydraulic control of fin actuation in tuna can help in further development of next generation of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) with enhanced motion control. The advantage of the bio-hydraulic mechanism is the ability to sustain the force over long periods of time as well as fine adjustment of the fin stiffness depending on swimming modes. The biological morphing fins with variable wing performance have an advantage in maneuverability compared with fixed control surfaces in existing models. The current challenge is to transform this phenomenon into a repeatable and scalable UUV technology. With this purpose, the basic parameters of the bio-hydraulic mechanism of fin actuation will be quantified in diverse species of Scombridae, which we have shown to have this hydraulic system. The parametric model based on these data is expected to show how the design of the bio-hydraulic complex is associated with species specialization in cruising and maneuvering. This knowledge can serve as a baseline for the construction of the bio-inspired morphing control surfaces for the UUV. The versatility of the bio-inspired design makes it a solution of choice for the range of UUVs designed for the different purposes.

1 - Stanford University.