Shear-flow excitation mechanisms of recessed localized arc-filament plasma actuators

R. R. Kleinman, D. J. Bodony, J. B. Freund

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Localized arc-filament plasma actuators, placed near the nozzle lip of a laboratory jet, have recently been demonstrated to have sufficient control authority to significantly excite the jet downstream [M. Samimy et al. , J. Fluid Mech.578, 305 (2007)]. This class of plasma actuator, which in this application is recessed in a small cavity near the nozzle lip, causes intense local heating. This heating is thought to be the root mechanism of its influence on the flow, but how this principally entropic thermal source couples with the vortical jet shear layer turbulence downstream is unclear. We investigate this using direct numerical simulations, which match the flow conditions of the corresponding experiment, including Reynolds number, but are two-dimensional to ease computational expense. Despite this obvious modeling approximation, the simulations include the key features of the laboratory system: a thin boundary layer, a plasma-like thermal source in a small recessed cavity, a nozzle lip, and a downstream free shear layer. Results are shown to match the temperature and near-field pressure measured in the laboratory actuators. It is found that the cavity, which was initially included to shield the actuator plasma from the flow, is essential for its action. Thermal expansion within the cavity leads to an ejection of fluid from it, which perturbs the boundary layer and the downstream mixing layer. There is a finite baroclinic torque, but its effects are relatively minor. An alternate actuator designed to mimic the pressure effects of the full actuator, without its concomitant thermal heating, is nearly as effective at exciting the shear layer. An actuator model without the cavity recess does not provide effective actuation. These results suggest that there is significant potential to optimize the actuation authority through design of cavity recesses that augment its effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116103
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 3 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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