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Biological Propulsion Laboratory

Facilities


40-Meter Tilting Water Channel and Wave Generation Facility

The 40-meter tilting water channel at Caltech was originally constructed in 1967 under the auspices of the Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources. A 2D wave generation facility was subsequently installed at the downstream end of the channel.  The facility is currently being used for studies of bio-inspired propulsion.


Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA)
The SCUVA system enables digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) and planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) measurements of free-swimming and benthic organisms in natural ocean environments. The system has been used at Caltech and on loan to researchers at other colleges and universities in studies of fish and cetacean swimming, salp and bivalve feeding, filtration by sponges and coral, sedimentation, etc.




75-Gallon Pseudokreisel and 3-axis Laser Velocimetry Facility
The 75-gallon pseudokreisel facility at Caltech is used for studies of free-swimming jellyfish behavior. The walls of the tank are constructed from transparent acrylic to facilitate quantitative imaging experiments using digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV). Due to the lack of control of jellyfish motion within the tank, the laser system and camera are mounted on a three-axis traverse to facilitate movement of the measurement window in accordance with the current location of the animal in the tank. This method increases the efficiency of the data collection process, since it is not necessary to wait for the animal to swim through a fixed measurement window.



8-kPa Constant-head Transient Nozzle Vortex Generator
The 8-kPa constant-head transient nozzle vortex generator at Caltech is used for fundamental studies of vortex ring formation and propagation. The nozzle is actuated independently from the flow generation mechanism, facilitating studies of vortex formation with time-dependent boundary conditions, non-circular vortex loop formation, and boundary layer forcing.




Jelly Fish
© California Institute of Technology
Last Update: November 5, 2012