Mannam Naga Praveen Babu won the award for the research project ‘Fish-Inspired Propulsion System for Remotely Operated Surface Ships and Underwater Vehicles’. He carried his research work under the guidance of Prof. Krishnankutty P. Department of Naval Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai.
The Autonomous Marine Vehicles (AMVs) are much in use for exploring subsea natural resources, monitoring marine pollution, performing hydrographic surveys, etc. Energy for AMV operations are taken from battery cells provided inside the AMV. The energy consumption can be reduced by providing the AMVs with a propulsion system which is more efficient than the conventional screw type thrusters. Recent advances in planetary sciences shows that NASA is trying to explore liquid atmospheres such as methane lakes, icy crust atmospheres in Jupiter's largest moon Europa and Titan planets with the help of robotic eel fish and underwater submarines. The use of marine vehicles on earth ocean's world exploration advances into planetary atmospheres. Compared to conventional marine vehicles, bio-inspired swimming vehicles have shown higher performance in comparison to screw propellers. This performance results in efficient cruising, maneuverability (turning and stopping ability), noiseless motion and eco-friendly. These are defined as fish-like bio-inspired vehicles which propel through undulation or oscillation motion of the fish body or its fins. Flapping foil propulsion are more efficient (80%) than the conventional screw propulsion system (60%). Use of flapping foils also disturbs the water less compared to screw propellers, thus making it more environment friendly and create less noise. With these perspectives under consideration, the present research reports the studies carried out on a remotely operated surface ship model and underwater vehicle fitted with a fin at the aft end, resembling caudal fin of a thunniform fish. The aft (tail) fin has freedom to oscillate in the horizontal plane about the longitudinal axis. Self-propulsion tests are carried out for determining the thrust performance of marine vehicles
Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Mannam Naga Praveen Babu, Department of Naval Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai with the prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.