A long-term, reversible attachment, energy harvesting underwater sensor and tracking platform

Project: Research project

Project Details


We propose to integrate both basic and applied experimental research to develop a prototype adhesive mount capable of long-term, reversible underwater attachment technology that will be adaptable pertinent to the user. Our objectives are to have the prototype adhere to various roughness and compliance surfaces across a wide range of depths and velocities without leaving a mark, implement a energy extraction method in order to have long-term submersion, and minimize parasitic drag and biofouling. To accomplish this, we will characterize suction pressure and power requirements for long duration attachment in both live remoras and the remora adhesive device (RAD) while attached to dolphin and shark biomimetic surfaces and painted hull surface under a range of flow velocities.-Informed by these findings we will optimize our RAD for length of attachment and desirable Navy use-cases. In order to reduce parasitic drag the housing of the mount will be streamlined, taking advantage of remora hydrodynamic efficiency. Two energy extraction mechanisms will be tested, one that is known to be more efficient is to have a turbine-like mechanism within the housing, and the other is to extract power from a fluid stream using a flexible element that will resonate. Lastly, to mitigate biofouling there are two options, the first is to create a shark-inspired skin to attempt to delay fluid separation and disrupt the ability for microorganisms to adhere to the device, and the other is to use different surface coatings that are known to prevent biofouling and to test which is the best option.-This work will advance state-of-the-art biosensor tags, being the first of its kind to be non-marking and monitor endangered and migratory marine organisms for long intervals, while also potentially being able to expand UUV docking capacities.

Effective start/end date1/1/23 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $225,000.00


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