Experimental control of swept-wing transition through base-flow modification by plasma actuators

S. Yadala Venkata*, Marc T. Hehner, Jacopo Serpieri, Nicolas Benard, Philipp C. Dörr, Markus J. Kloker, Marios Kotsonis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
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Control of laminar-to-turbulent transition on a swept-wing is achieved by base-flow modification in an experimental framework, up to a chord Reynolds number of 2.5 million. This technique is based on the control strategy used in the numerical simulation by Dörr & Kloker (J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., vol. 48, 2015b, 285205). A spanwise uniform body force is introduced using dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators, to either force against or along the local cross-flow component of the boundary layer. The effect of forcing on the stability of the boundary layer is analysed using a simplified model proposed by Serpieri et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 833, 2017, pp. 164–205). A minimal thickness plasma actuator is fabricated using spray-on techniques and positioned near the leading edge of the swept-wing, while infrared thermography is used to detect and quantify transition location. Results from both the simplified model and experiment indicate that forcing along the local cross-flow component promotes transition while forcing against successfully delays transition. This is the first experimental demonstration of swept-wing transition delay via base-flow modification using plasma actuators.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2018


  • boundary layer control
  • boundary layer stability
  • instability control


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