Multifactorial effects of operating conditions of dielectric-barrier-discharge plasma actuator on laminar-separated-flow control

Makoto Sato, Hikaru Aono, Aiko Yakeno, Taku Nonomura, Kozo Fujii, Koichi Okada, Kengo Asada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


A substantial number of large-eddy simulations are conducted on separated flow controlled by a dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuator at a Reynolds number of 63,000. In the present paper, the separated flow over a NACA 0015 airfoil at an angle of attack of 12 deg, which is just poststall, is used as the base flow for separation control. The effects of the location and operating conditions of the plasma actuator on the separation control are investigated by a parametric study. The control effect is evaluated based on the improvement of not only the lift coefficient but also the drag coefficient over an airfoil. The most effective location of the plasma actuator for both lift and drag improvement is precisely confirmed to be upstream of the natural separation point. Even a low burst ratio is found to be sufficient to obtain the same improvements as the cases with a high burst ratio. The effective nondimensional burst frequency F+ is observed at 4 ≤ F+ ≤ 6 for the improvement in the lift coefficient and at 6 ≤ F+ ≤ 20 for that in the drag coefficient. The lift/drag ratio shows a clear peak at 6 ≤ F+ ≤ 10. To clarify the mechanism of the laminar-separation control, the effect of a turbulent transition is investigated. There is a clear relationship between the separation control effect and the turbulent transition at the shear layer. An earlier and smoother transition case shows greater improvements in the lift and drag coefficients. Flow analyses show that the cases with early and smooth turbulent transition can attach the separated flow further upstream, resulting in a higher suction peak of the pressure coefficient. In addition, another mechanism of the separation control is observed in which the lift coefficient is improved, not by the reattachment through the turbulent transition but by the large-scale vortex shedding induced by the actuation. It is possible to separate these two dominant mechanisms based on the effect of the turbulent transition on the separation control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2544-2559
Number of pages16
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifactorial effects of operating conditions of dielectric-barrier-discharge plasma actuator on laminar-separated-flow control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this