Air Interactions of Magnetically Driven Plasma Discharges in Crossflow

Georgi K. Hristov, Phillip J. Ansell, Joseph W. Zimmerman, David L. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motivated by the use of magnetohydrodynamic devices in fluid dynamic flow control research, the current work experimentally studied the actuation mechanism and the resulting aerodynamic interactions of magnetically driven low-current arc-plasma discharges. The investigation was conducted in the context of boundary-layer interactions in low-speed crossflow conditions through the use of coaxial and v-shaped geometries. Time-averaged velocity field measurements showed that the toroidal region of vorticity induced by the coaxial geometry in quiescent air resulted in the formation of a horseshoe vortex in crossflow. Similarly, the v-shaped actuator resulted in the formation of streamwise vortices. The resulting boundary layers had s-shaped streamwise velocity profiles as measured in the wall-normal direction characteristic for the flow downstream of a conventional vortex generator pair, due to the three-dimensional mixing induced by coherent vortex structures. A simplified model based on intermolecular momentum transfer through collisions is proposed to explain the fundamental discharge–air interactions and the induced flowfields. These results inform the applications of various magnetically driven discharges in the field of aerodynamic flow control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-541
Number of pages12
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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