Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Active flow control


"A parametric computational study designed to examine the plausibility of an external body force generated by active means, such as a plasma actuator, as a means of controlling a Laminar Separation Bubble (LSB) over an airfoil at low Reynolds numbers was conducted. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was employed to characterize the effect that a body force, localized to a small region tangent to the airfoil surface, might have on an LSB. In this study, the effects of altering the strength and location of the "actuator" on the size and location of the LSB and on the aerodynamic performance of the airfoil were observed. In a separate investigation, the effects of operating an actuator in a "burst" mode are investigated, where the effects of pulsing frequency and duty cycle are examined to determine whether further performance enhancements can be achieved via such means. It was found that the body force, when properly located and with sufficient magnitude, could effectively eliminate the LSB. Additionally, it was found that by eliminating the LSB, the aerodynamic efficiency of the airfoil could be improved by as much as 60%. Thus, it was determined that such a system may indeed be an effective measure of reducing or eliminating the negative effects associated with LSBs at low Reynolds numbers. Additionally, pulsed operation of the actuator was found to enhance effectiveness by as much as 20% over a power-equivalent steady actuator. These results indicate that such a control strategy may be an excellent candidate for future experimental research regarding this topic"--Abstract, page iii.


Finaish, Fathi

Committee Member(s)

Rovey, Joshua L.
Hosder, Serhat


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


Missouri Space Grant Consortium


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2011


xv, 97 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2011 Justin Roger Aholt, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Actuators -- Testing
Laminar flow -- Mathematical models
Plasma devices -- Testing
Reynolds number

Thesis Number

T 9799

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #