Free flow thrusters

When it comes to thruster placement it is said that they need to have free flow. The question is how close can they be to something and still have free flow. How can i calculate this and know this before making it? We’r building the ROV in the picture and i’m wondering if the vertical thrusters can be on the same level as the square manipulator or if that will obstruct free flow? Thank you in advance!

Hi @Chri, welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

That depends quite a bit on the size, surface, and shape of the thing. In the extreme, a very small object will have negligible effect, while a cup over the back of the thruster would prevent it from doing any useful work at all. Everything else will be on a scale in between.

I’d suggest having a read of this comment to help develop an intuition of how thrusters operate, and how that affects their flow near other thrusters and fixed objects.

How accurate does the calculation need to be? It’s very likely that an intuitive understanding would be sufficient for guiding your design, by thinking generally in terms of pressure differentials and flow lines. If you need to quantify it then you can set up a fluid dynamics simulation, where there are varying levels of complexity you can include (do you only care about one thruster + the manipulator? do you need to simulate the full vehicle dynamics? do you need to consider material surface properties, or water properties? etc).