Characterisation of plasma synthetic jet actuators in quiescent flow

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An experimental characterisation study of a large-volume three-electrode plasma synthetic jet actuator (PSJA) is presented. A sequential discharge power supply system is used to activate the PSJA. Phase-locked planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) and time-resolved Schlieren imaging are used to characterise the evolution of the induced flow field in quiescent flow conditions. The effect of orifice diameter is investigated. Results indicate three distinct features of the actuator-induced flow field. These are the initial shock waves, the high speed jet and vortex rings. Two types of shock waves with varied intensities, namely a strong shock wave and a weak shock wave, are issued from the orifice shortly after the ignition of the discharge. Subsequently, the emission of a high speed jet is observed, reaching velocities up to 130 m s−1. Pronounced oscillation of the exit velocity is caused by the periodical behaviour of capacitive discharge, which also led to the formation of vortex ring trains. Orifice diameter has no influence on the jet acceleration stage and the peak exit velocity. However, a large orifice diameter results in a rapid decline of the exit velocity and thus a short jet duration time. Vortex ring propagation velocities are measured at peak values ranging from 55 m s−1–70 m s−1. In the case of 3 mm orifice diameter, trajectory of the vortex ring severely deviates from the actuator axis of symmetry. The development of this asymmetry in the flow field is attributed to asymmetry in the electrode configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35202
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • plasma
  • synthetic jet
  • actuator
  • flow control
  • flow field
  • characterisetion

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