Active Control of Turbulent Flow Separation by Surface Plasma

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Research and Graduate Services


Radio frequency glow discharges are been used in microelectronic device fabrication, ozone generation and in gas laser excitation. Such discharges operating at atmospheric pressure have been shown to produce jet flows to be used for flow control. Some of recent results obtained from our laboratory clearly confirmed these claims. Surface plasma actuators are simple device with no moving parts or ducting, which have high frequency response and thus have a realistic possibility for aeronautical applications. Already, tests have been conducted for airfoils and turbine blades for possible control of transition, skin-friction drag and flow separation in the last year of so. However, there is still a lack of information on surface plasma physics and associated fluid dynamics to fully utilise the devices for flow control. The production mechanism of wall jets by surface plasma is not well understood, nor is the optimum condition for plasma excitation in flow control. These are precisely the reasons why we propose this research, so that we can advance our understanding on surface plasma for many aeronautical applications, flow separation control in particular.In this investigation we would like to study active control of flow separation during static and dynamics stall. Control of static stall can be investigated by placing surface plasma actuators before the separation point over a circular cylinder with a view to delay flow separation. Here, the time averaged lift and drag forces should indicate the effectiveness of separation control. Control of dynamics stall over a lifting surface can be carried out by reducing the area of separation region or even to recover from separation by using surface plasma actuator. Novelty of this approach is that a real-time detection of flow separation over the body surface is not required, as the vortices are periodically shed from the cylinder surface. Besides, the flow around a circular cylinder is a subject that has been studied by many researchers, therefore there are enough database to help validate our baseline measurements.PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) system is becoming a common flow measurement technique in fluid dynamic research in recent years, where an entire velocity field in a light-sheet plane can be obtained. With PIV system, small particles in the flow shone by the laser light sheet are photographed in a short interval with a digital camera. The distance and direction of movement of each flow particle gives the velocity vector, thereby globally mapping the velocity field. In our study, flow images will be captured at 1 kHz at a full camera resolution of 1600x1200 pixels for 8 seconds, with 20 mJ of energy being produced by the laser. All of these equipments will be made available from EPSRC Engineering Instrument Loan Pool for this study. The PIV measurements will be complimented by other techniques, such as hot-wire measurements and flow visualisation, which will give confidence in our results, add insight into vortical structures during flow separation and provide better understanding of the mechanisms in which flow separation control with surface plasma can be carried out.


10 25 50
Description EU funding
Amount € 235,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2010 
End 12/2013
Description AIST 
Organisation National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
Start Year 2006
Description BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre 
Organisation BAE Systems
Department Advanced Technology Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
Description Industrial course on Flow Control Technologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The seminar gave a deep understanding of the subject being described.

Received a good feedback from the participants on the delivery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014