Jumping Archer Fish Hydrodynamics in 3D

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Archer fish (genus Toxotes) exhibit multi-modal prey capture strategies combining spitting, rapid in-water pursuit, and jumping to feed in competitive environments. Archer fish can successfully jump to capture prey located several body lengths out of the water from directly below the surface with zero initial velocity. This rapid maneuver leaves limited space (one body length) to accelerate before fully exiting the water. The biomechanics and hydrodynamics of the fin and body motions for propelling, steering, and stabilizing the fish is highly three-dimensional and of interest to engineers aiming to replicate these aquatic launches. I will present results from 3D PIV studies on live jumping archer fish over a range of jump heights. Experiments focus on the interactions between three posterior fins (anal, dorsal, and caudal) and the role of these fins in stability and propulsion. The timing, interactions, and relative contributions to thrust and lateral forces from each fin show direct interactions between the upstream momentum generated by the anal and dorsal fins and the caudal fin in subsequent tail strokes. Strong wake features from the anal fin are additionally observed independently of the caudal fin wake. We find that fin interactions vary with the height of the jump as a result timing and body posture changes. When the initial posture is closer to horizontal (e.g., lower jump heights) the entire span of the anal fin is oriented such that its undulation produces a downward jet. As the body rotates toward vertical throughout the jump, the tail passes through a majority of the anal fin’s wake. At higher jump heights the initial body posture is more vertical and the tail passes through the wake of the posterior lobe of the downward facing anal fin and a similar region behind the dorsal fin.


Time-resolved, volumetric measurements of the unsteady hydrodynamic wake structures are acquired using a light-field imaging and synthetic aperture refocusing methodology.  The novel three-dimensional, three-component (3D-3C) light field particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) method uses a multi-camera array to resolve volumetric flow fields, from vortex rings to multiphase flows.  Light Field PIV system represents the next generation of 3D PIV techniques and can have significant impact on the community due to the relatively low cost of image reconstruction and the ability to resolve densely seeded flow fields, to image near deformed interfaces, such as the archer fish fins. Results from 3D PIV studies on live jumping archer fish over a range of jump heights will be discussed in the context of propulsive performance and jumping statistics.    





Alexandra Techet, MIT
Bowen Hall
Room number or other detail: 
222 Bowen Hall
Friday, September 21, 2018 - 12:30pm
Faculty Host: 

Speaker Bio

Prof. Alexandra (Alex) Techet is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering (with tenure), in the department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Professor Techet is the director of the Experimental Hydrodynamics Laboratory (EHL) at MIT and runs the MIT Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory water tunnel facility. Her group’s research in experimental hydrodynamics has made important contributions to several key areas, including: light field imaging for fluid mechanics, 3D multi-phase flow imaging, spray hydrodynamics, water entry of spheres and projectiles, flow structure interactions, unsteady bio-inspired propulsion and maneuvering, and sensing at the air/sea interface. Prof. Techet’s work provides critical insights for the design and understanding of a wide range of systems that operate in the marine environment, including surface ships, submarines, undersea projectiles, offshore oil platforms, and ocean energy systems. Prof. Techet received her B.S.E. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1995 from Princeton University and then graduated from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanographic Engineering with a M.S. in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2001. During her doctoral studies she received both the prestigious Department of Defense NDSEG fellowship, as well as the Link Foundation Fellowship in Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation. In 2002, after a brief post-doc at Princeton University in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Prof. Techet returned to MIT as an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Ocean Engineering. In 2005, Prof. Techet joined the Mechanical Engineering Dept. at MIT when the two departments merged. She also holds a guest appointment at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and works with researchers there to develop oceangoing instrumentation. Prof. Techet holds a US Coast Guard 50 Ton Masters License and is certified as an Advanced SCUBA Driver, through PADI and SSI, with SSI Rescue Diver and bluewater Scientific Diving Certifications through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Professor Techet was a recipient of the 2004 ONR Young Investigators Award. Her imaging work has been recognized several times (2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011) by the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics Gallery of Fluid Motion and has been featured on the cover of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Prof. Techet’s 2017 work on jumping archer fish has piqued the interest of current media and news outlets and earlier work on free surface impact has been highlighted in several episodes on the Discovery channel.

Speaker Photo

Alexandra Techet