Optimisation problems at the air/water interface : From ship hulls to rowing propulsion

Abstract : We consider a few optimisation problems — in water and at its surface — ranging from drag minimisation on ship hulls to propulsion efficiency in rowing and swimming with fins. We use theoretical, experimental and numerical methods. In a first part, we focus on the question of optimal hull shapes. We develop a minimal theoretical approach to determine, at given load and propulsive power, the optimal aspect ratios of ship hulls, which are discussed and confronted to empirical data. Then, the effect of the fore-aft hull asymmetry is addressed. In a second part, we study the question of propulsion in rowing and swimming with fins. In particular, the long-standing question of whether rowers should be synchronised or not is brought up to date with a scaled rowing robot. Finally, we analyse the optimal shape of fins in order to find optimal swimming strategies.
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Jean-Philippe Boucher. Optimisation problems at the air/water interface : From ship hulls to rowing propulsion. Mechanics of the fluids [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX110⟩. ⟨tel-02015329⟩

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