What is it about?

Turbulence occurs naturally in everyday life due to excess flow energy and causes huge drag related loss. We have shown for the first time that a specific serpentine shape plasma actuator can directly modify the flow energy such that one can either enhance or delay the onset of turbulence by properly positioning a set of these actuators to either excite or cancel the energetic flow modes, respectively. These actuators are electrically driven, surface compliant, and can be applied on receptive locations only to be felt by the surrounding air as and when they are turned on.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that certain superposition of energetic modes can control the transition to turbulence significantly (>50%) reducing flow drag over a flat surface. This has direct impact on net fuel consumption and CO2 emission by a car, truck, or an aircraft. Manipulation of turbulence can also improve maneuverability of an air vehicle.


We hope this work brings more excitement to the research in plasma actuators the fundamental aspects of which are yet to be fully explored for practical benefits.

Subrata Roy
University of Florida

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Modification of energetic modes for transitional flow control, AIP Advances, March 2022, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0078083.
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