Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Ocean Engineering


Ocean Engineering

First Advisor

Jason Dahl


Autonomous underwater vehicles are becoming increasingly more prevalent in exploring and studying the bodies of water found all over the world. Having a way to detect and identify the surrounding environment in close range would allow vehicles to move more efficiently and safely through hazardous environments or in groups of many. This study took biological inspiration from the fish sensory organ known as the lateral line to design, fabricate, and test a pressure sensor integrated foil. It examined the ability of pressure sensors to detect flow structures as well as variation in flow structures during a dynamic, flapping foil sinusoidal motion by changing the mean heave distance away from a wall. The experimental results showed that the foil's pressure sensors could detect a leading edge vortex at higher angles of attack and were able to detect the shedding vortex along the chord during dynamic motion with validation from PIV analysis and force sensors. The pressure sensors were also able to detect differences in pressure as a resultant from ground effect. These results could pave the way to creating vehicles that can interact and respond to the surrounding environment.



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