Active Flow Control Strategy of Laminar Separation Bubbles Developed over Subsonic Airfoils at Low Reynolds Numbers


A computational parametric study designed to examine the plausibility of an externalbody force generated by active means, such as a plasma actuator, as away of controlling aLaminar Separation Bubble (LSB) over an airfoil at low Reynolds numbers was conducted.Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was employed to characterize the effect that a bodyforce, localized to a small region tangent to the airfoil surface, might have on an LSB. Inthis study, the effects of altering the strength and location of the -œactuator- on the sizeand location of the LSB and on the aerodynamic performance of the airfoil were observed.It was found that the body force, when properly located and withsufficient 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, itwas determined that such a system may indeed be an effective measureof reducing oreliminating the negative effects associated with LSBs at low Reynolds numbers, makingthe strategy an excellent candidate for future experimental research regarding this topic.

Meeting Name

49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition (2011: Jan. 4-7, Orlando, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2011 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

07 Jan 2011