Plasma-Based Forcing Strategies for Control of Crossflow Instabilities

Srikar Yadala, M. T. Hehner, J. Serpieri, Nicolas Benard, M. Kotsonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The present work experimentally investigates two forcing strategies toward controlling stationary crossflow instability (CFI) induced transition manifesting on a swept wing at subsonic conditions. The effectiveness of upstream flow deformation (UFD) and the base-flow modification strategies, realized through the application of spanwise-modulated and spanwise-uniform dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuation, respectively, is compared experimentally. Specialized, patterned actuators that generate spanwise-modulated plasma jets have been fabricated using a spray-on technique and positioned near the leading edge. An array of discrete roughness elements (DREs) is installed upstream of the plasma forcing to lock the origin and evolution of the critical stationary CFI vortices in the boundary layer. The impact of the phase relation between the spanwise-modulated plasma jets and the incoming CFI vortices is inspected. Infrared thermography is employed to detect and quantify the transition location. A delay in transition is observed with all tested forcing configurations. However, as the incoming CFI vortices are highly amplified due to the application of DREs, the acquired results suggest that with spanwise-modulated forcing the control mechanism responsible for the observed transition delay is not purely UFD; rather the beneficial effects observed leverage on a combination of direct attenuation of the CFI vortices and localized base-flow modification, depending on the aforementioned phase relation. For all forcing strategies and configurations, a simplified drag reduction efficiency estimation is performed using the experimentally measured transition location and the electrical power use of the actuators. A net gain is found for selected configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3406-3416
Number of pages11
JournalAIAA Journal: devoted to aerospace research and development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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