Active flow control using plasma actuators in a reduced pressure environment

Atsushi Komuro, Kyonosuke Sato, Yoshiki Maruyama, Keisuke Takashima, Taku Nonomura, Toshiro Kaneko, Akira Ando, Keisuke Asai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a lightweight, energy-efficient airflow control device that uses plasma discharge to realize stratospheric flight. Wind-tunnel experiments were performed in a reduced-pressure environment, and it was noted that plasma can suppress the flow separation around an airfoil, thereby dynamically changing the performance of the airfoil. The results demonstrate that even if the electron mean free path, reduced electric field for the plasma, and the aerodynamic Reynolds number for the stratospheric flight are very different from those at ground level, the plasma is effective in an airflow control device. Moreover, the proposed device operates by simply adhering thin tapes on a ready-made airfoil or hull of the airship and applying voltage to them, which contrasts with the conventionally developed plasma propulsion system. The airflow control technique using plasma will be a key technology in extending human activity to the stratosphere or regions at higher altitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number07LT01
JournalJournal Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Dielectric barrier discharge
  • Low pressure discharge
  • Plasma actuator
  • Wind tunnel experiment


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