[MARMAM] new article on tag design in dolphin telemetry

Vadim Pavlov pavlovv at csmu.strace.net
Fri Mar 30 11:15:34 PDT 2007

Dear all, 

On behalf of my colleagues I am pleased to inform you of the new article in 
Deep Sea Research II: 
“A new approach to tag design in dolphin telemetry: computer simulations to 
minimize deleterious effects” 

Remote-sensors and transmitters are powerful devices for studying cetaceans 
at sea. However, despite substantial progress in microelectronics and 
miniaturisation of systems, dolphin tags are imperfectly designed; additional 
drag from tags increases swim costs, compromises swimming capacity and 
manoeuvrability, and leads to extra loads on the animal’s tissue. We propose 
a new approach to tag design, elaborating basic principles and incorporating 
design stages to minimise device effects by using computer-aided design. 
Initially, the operational conditions of the device are defined by 
quantifying the shape, hydrodynamics and range of the natural deformation of 
the dolphin body at the tag attachment site (such as close to the dorsal 
fin). Then, parametric models of both of the dorsal fin and a tag are created 
using the derived data. The link between parameters of the fin and a tag 
model allows redesign of tag models according to expected changes of fin 
geometry (difference in fin shape related with species, sex, and age 
peculiarities, simulation of the bend of the fin during manoeuvres). A final 
virtual modelling stage uses iterative improvement of a tag model in a 
computer fluid dynamics (CFD) environment to enhance tag performance. This 
new method is considered as a suitable tool of tag design before creation of 
the physical model of a tag and testing with conventional wind/water tunnel 
technique. Ultimately, tag materials are selected to conform to the 
conditions identified by the modelling process and thus help create a 
physical model of a tag, which should minimise its impact on the animal 
carrier and thus increase the reliability and quality of the data obtained. 

Keywords: Tag; Marine mammals; Modelling; Drag; Hydrodynamics 

pdf of the article is available online via the following DOI link: 
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.11.010 or by email request to 
pavlovv at csmu.strace.net 

Best regards, 

Vadim Pavlov      
Crimean State Medical University 
Lenin blvd 5/7 
95006 Simferopol 

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