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Innovative Tag-Design for Dolphin-Telemetrie

Projectdata

Contact: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert
Scientist: PhD Vadim Pavlov

Project description

The impact of devices attached to animals remains a challenge in telemetry
studies of dolphins. It was hypothesized that the hydrodynamic design of a tag could
provide stable attachment to the dorsal fin by means of resultant hydrodynamic force
appearing when a dolphin is swimming. To verify this hypothesis the computer
fluid dynamics (CFD) study of tag performance was carried out. A virtual model
presenting authentic geometry of a dolphin with tag attached to the dorsal fin was
constructed. The same model without tag was used as a reference object to calculate
tag impact as regards drag, lift, and moments coefficients. Flow around the models
was simulated for the range of velocities as well as the ranges of pitch and yaw
angles. It was shown that in 33 of 35 CFD scenarios the streamlined shape of a tag
generates the lift force that facilitates keeping a tag attached to the fin. Throughout
the set of calculations the tag-associated drag coefficient does not exceed 4%, which
indicates low impact. Data obtained present a baseline for the further development
of non-invasive dolphin telemetry tags.

Figure 1. CAD model presenting authentic geometry of the common dolphin.

Figure 2. CAD model of common dolphin with attached telemetry tag.

Figure 3. Flow around attached tag at dolphin’s maneuver.

Figure 4. Testing of one of the first tag prototypes on dolphins in captivity. Photo by M. Roos.

Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum

Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert

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Anschrift
Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Kontakt
Tel.:+49 511 856-8158
Fax.:+49 511 856-8181
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