Characterization of flow control using programmable multi-directional plasma actuators
Gustin, Samuel W.
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This research explores the use of a novel plasma actuator geometry and electrical configuration to generate directionally programmable flow fields near the surface of arrays of such plasma actuators. Plasma actuators are unique ionothrusters which are reliant on geometry to define flow directionality. This thesis defines and makes use of a new class of plasma actuator which can generate directionally differentiated flows within a single geometry via use of high voltage switches and specialized geometries. The multidirectional plasma actuators are trialed individually and in arrays and the space defined by the directionality of flows which can be generated is defined. It is found that these devices are capable of generating flows sufficient to create flow modifications which are beneficial for the efficiency and control of lifting bodies and airframes. The research demonstrates that the described programmable, multi-directional, plasma actuators may be used to create an assortment of desired flows and to aid in the control of airframes.