Control of mean separation in a compression ramp shock boundary layer interaction using pulsed plasma jets

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2014-05

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Pulsed plasma jets (also called "SparkJets'") were investigated for use in controlling the mean separation location induced by shock wave-boundary layer interaction. These synthetic jet actuators are driven by electro-thermal heating from an electrical discharge in a small cavity, which forces the gas in the cavity to exit through a small hole as a high-speed jet. With this method of actuation, pulsed plasma jets can achieve pulsing frequencies on the order of kilohertz, which is on the order of the instability frequency of many lab-scale shock wave-boundary layer interactions (SWBLI). The interaction under investigation was generated by a 20° compression ramp in a Mach 3 flow. The undisturbed boundary layer is transitional with Re[subscript theta] of 5400. Surface oil streak visualization is used in a parametric study to determine the optimum pulsing frequency of the jet, the optimum distance of the jet from the compression corner, and the optimum injection angle of the jets. Three spanwise-oriented arrays of three plasma jets are tested, each with a different pitch and skew angle on the jet exit port. The three injection angles tested were 22° pitch and 45° skew, 20° pitch and 0° skew, and 45° pitch and 0° skew. Jet pulsing frequency is varied between 2 kHz and 4 kHz, corresponding to a Strouhal number based on separation length of 0.012 and 0.023. Particle image velocimetry is used to characterize the effect that the actuators have on the reattached boundary layer profile on the ramp surface. Results show that plasma jets pitched at 20° from the wall, and pulsed at a Strouhal number of 0.018, can reduce the size of an approximate measure of the separation region by up to 40% and increase the integrated momentum in the downstream reattached boundary layer, albeit with a concomitant increase in the shape factor.

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