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Understanding the power requirements of autonomous underwater systems, Part I: An analytical model for optimum swimming speeds and cost of transport

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Maryam HaroutunianORCiD, Dr Alan J Murphy



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Many marine species exhibit capabilities that would be desirable for manmade systems operating in the maritime environment. However, without detracting from the potential, if bioinspiration is to prove beneficial, it is important to have a consistent set of metrics that allow fair comparison, without bias, when comparing the performance of engineered and biological systems. In this study we focus on deriving an unbiased metric of performance applicable to marine animals and engineered subsea vehicles for one of the most fundamental of properties; that of the energy cost of locomotion. We present a rational analytical model of the physics behind the total energy cost of locomotion applicable to both biological and engineered autonomous underwater marine systems. This model proposes the use of an equivalent spheroid efficiency as a fair metric to compare engineered and biological systems. The model is then utilised to identify how changes in mass, speed, spheroid efficiency and hotel load impact the performance of the system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Phillips AB, Haroutunian M, Murphy AJ, Boyd SW, Blake JIR, Griffiths G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ocean Engineering

Year: 2017

Volume: 133

Pages: 271-279

Print publication date: 15/03/2017

Online publication date: 24/12/2015

Acceptance date: 07/12/2015

Date deposited: 06/01/2016

ISSN (print): 0029-8018

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5258

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2015.12.014


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