The Challenges of Simulating Jellyfish with Biologically Descriptive Oral Arms

  • Santiago, Matea (The University of Arizona)
  • Hoover, Alexander (Cleveland State University)
  • Connolly, Alyssa (The University of Arizona)
  • Ramirez, Citlali (The University of Arizona)
  • Miller, Laura (The University of Arizona)

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Numerical simulation is a common tool to understand the underlying mechanism of bell propulsion and the resulting fluid dynamics in swimming and stationary jellyfish. Many jellyfish have prominent oral arms, such as the sessile Cassiopea and the swimming Blue Blubber. As a modeling simplification, the complex geometries of the oral arms are typically neglected, which can result in overly idealized fluid dynamics. However, this work will discuss the steps and challenges to including biologically descriptive oral arms for the Cassiopea and Blue Blubber jellyfish. The model creation and meshing of the oral arms will be discussed, as well as the challenges of simulating a fully coupled three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction of a biological organism. Preliminary work will be shown using the immersed boundary finite element (IBFE) capability in IBARM, an open-source, adaptive, parallelizable implementation of the immersed boundary method.