The Plasma Synthetic Jet Actuator, Physics, Modeling and Flow Control Application on Separation


D. Caruana, F. Rogier, G. Dufour, C. Gleyzes (Onera)

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Practical application of active flow control is dependent upon the development of robust actuators that are reliable, small, easy to integrate and have no or very small delay. Onera is developing Plasma Synthetic Jet actuators, PSJ, in order to show the potential of such electrical devices to act on aerodynamic phenomena like separated flows. The characterization of the pulsed jet produced by a PSJ actuator is investigated with experimental techniques, helping the validation of theoretical and numerical studies carried out in parallel. This article mainly describes the physics of PSJ actuators with numerical and experimental studies on the characterization of the PSJ device with and without flow and on the ability of PSJ actuators to reduce the  separated flow region on a decelerating ramp and on an NACA-0015 airfoil. PSJ actuator efficiency has been quantified using the PIV technique, in order to estimate the decrease of the separated flow region induced by the actuation and consequently the drag reduction.
The results show very promising effect with a separation almost completely cancelled.