Microwave generated plasma for active flow control in aerodynamic applications

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An experimental study was conducted to investigate the use of a microwave generated plasma to be used as an efficient flow control device for aerodynamic applications. The feasibility of plasma generation was demonstrated at pressures ranging from 0.05 atm to 1 atm and for pulsing frequencies between 400 Hz to 10 kHz. The setup was based on a quarter-wave coaxial resonator being operated with a microwave frequency of 2.45 GHz. Analysis of reflected power measurements suggested that the microwave energy could be best coupled into the resonator by using a small inductive loop, where the geometry can be experimentally optimized. The plasma was first characterized by recording images of the emission and taking temporal emission waveform profiles. Tests were conducted in quiescent air and analyzed with schlieren photography to determine the effectiveness of a plasma pulse to produce an instantaneous flow perturbation. Examination of phase averaged schlieren images revealed that a blast was produced by the emission and could be used to alter a flow field. The emission was also thermally characterized through emission spectroscopy measurements where the vibrational and rotational temperatures of the plasma were determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479373
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

Name46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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