Title

Control of Laminar Separation Bubbles via Plasma Actuators: a Preliminary Computational Study

Presenter Information

Justin Aholt

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Major

Aerospace Engineering

Research Advisor

Finaish, Fathi

Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Funding Source

Missouri S&T Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences (OURE) Program; NASA-Missouri Space Grant Consortium

Abstract

A parametric Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study was conducted to examine the plausibility of a plasma actuator as a means of controlling a Laminar Separation Bubble (LSB) over an airfoil at low Reynolds numbers. In this study, the effects of altering the strength and location of a plasma actuator, modeled as a localized body force, on the size and 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 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 over 60%. Thus, it was determined that plasma actuators may indeed be an effective measure for reducing or eliminating the negative effects associated with LSBs at low Reynolds numbers, making the technology an excellent candidate for future experimental research.

Biography

Justin Aholt is currently a senior in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Missouri S&T. He intends to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in May 2010, and a Master’s degree in May 2011.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Location

Ozark Room

Presentation Date

07 Apr 2010, 9:30 am - 10:00 am

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Apr 7th, 9:30 AM Apr 7th, 10:00 AM

Control of Laminar Separation Bubbles via Plasma Actuators: a Preliminary Computational Study

Ozark Room

A parametric Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study was conducted to examine the plausibility of a plasma actuator as a means of controlling a Laminar Separation Bubble (LSB) over an airfoil at low Reynolds numbers. In this study, the effects of altering the strength and location of a plasma actuator, modeled as a localized body force, on the size and 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 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 over 60%. Thus, it was determined that plasma actuators may indeed be an effective measure for reducing or eliminating the negative effects associated with LSBs at low Reynolds numbers, making the technology an excellent candidate for future experimental research.