Effects of actuation mode on plasma-induced spanwise flow oscillations

Marc T. Hehner*, Davide Gatti, Marios Kotsonis, Jochen Kriegseis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Two different plasma actuation strategies for producing near-wall flow oscillations, namely the burst-modulation and beat-frequency mode, are characterized with planar particle image velocimetry in quiescent air. Both concepts are anticipated to work as non-mechanical surrogates of oscillating walls aimed at turbulent flow drag reduction, with the added benefit of no moving parts, as the fluid is purely manipulated by plasma-generated body forces. The current work builds upon established flow-control and proof-of-concept demonstrators, as such, delivering an in-depth characterization of cause and impact of the plasma-induced flow oscillations. Various operational parameter combinations (oscillation frequency, duty cycle and input body force) are investigated. A universal performance diagram that is valid for plasma-based oscillations, independent of the actuation concept is derived. Results show that selected combinations of body force application methods suffice to reproduce oscillating wall dynamics from experimental data. Accordingly, the outcomes of this work can be exploited to create enhanced actuation models for numerical simulations of plasma-induced flow oscillations, by considering the body force as a function of the oscillation phase. Furthermore, as an advantage over physically displaced walls, the exerted body force appears not to be hampered by resonances and therefore remains constant independent of the oscillation frequency. Hence, the effects of individual parameter changes on the plasma actuator performance and fluid response as well as strategies to avoid undesired effects can be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205203
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • body force
  • oscillating flow
  • plasma actuator
  • spanwise flow oscillations
  • turbulent flow control


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