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Title:Fundamental physics and application of plasma actuators for high-speed flows
Author(s):Lazar, Eli S.
Director of Research:Elliott, Gregory S.; Glumac, Nick G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Glumac, Nick G.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Elliott, Gregory S.; Dutton, J. Craig; Austin, Joanna M.
Department / Program:Mechanical Sci & Engineering
Discipline:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Flow Control
Abstract:In this dissertation, a detailed investigation is given discussing three plasma-based flow control methods. These methods included plasma generated by laser energy, microwaves, and electric arc. The plasma generated by laser energy was also applied to a sonic transverse jet in a supersonic cross flow. Lastly, the particle image velocimetry diagnostic was considered and a technique developed to evaluate measurement uncertainty and using experimental velocity data to solve for density from the continuity equation. In the laser-spark system, the effect of ambient pressure in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 atm and wavelength (266 nm and 532 nm) on the size, temperature, electron number density, and fraction of laser energy absorbed in a laser-induced plasma in air has been conducted. The plasma was generated by using optics to focus the laser energy. The focused laser pulse resulted in the induced optical breakdown of air, creating a plasma to perturb the flow field. As pressure or wavelength are reduced, the size of the plasma, its electron number density, and the fraction of incident laser energy that is absorbed are all found to decrease significantly. For the plasma generated by microwaves, the feasibility of using the system for flow control was demonstrated at pressures ranging from 0.05 atm to 1 atm and for pulsing frequencies between 400 Hz to 10 kHz. The setup was based on a quarter-wave coaxial resonator being operated with a microwave frequency of 2.45 GHz. Analysis of reflected power measurements suggested that the microwave energy could be best coupled into the resonator by using a small inductive loop, where the geometry can be experimentally optimized. The plasma was first characterized by recording images of the emission and taking temporal emission waveform profiles. Tests were conducted in quiescent air and analyzed with schlieren photography to determine the effectiveness of a plasma pulse to produce an instantaneous flow perturbation. Examination of phase averaged schlieren images revealed that a blast was produced by the emission and could be used to alter a flow field. The emission was also thermally characterized through emission spectroscopy measurements where the vibrational and rotational temperatures of the plasma were determined. The last system considered was a localized arc filament plasma actuator, or LAFPA-type device. The system creates electric arcs by generating electric fields in the range of 20 kV/cm between two pin-type electrodes. The potential of the actuator to influence surrounding quiescent flow was investigated using emission imaging, schlieren imaging, current and voltage probes, particle image velocimetry (PIV), and emission spectroscopy. The schlieren imaging revealed a potential to cause blast “Mach” waves and a synthetic jet with controllable directionality dependent on cavity orientation. The electric measurements revealed that, in order to increase the power discharged by the plasma, the electrode separation will only aid mildly and that an optimum plasma current exists (between 300-400 mA for the tested parameter space). The PIV data were acquired for various actuation frequencies and showed a trend between discharge frequency and maximum induced jet velocity. Finally, the emission spectroscopy data were acquired for four different cases: two electrode separations and two plasma currents. For each of the four conditions tested, the spectrum fit very well to a thermal distribution for early times in the emission. However, at later times in the emission, the spectrum no longer matched that of the second positive system under optically thick conditions for any combination of rotational and vibrational temperatures. Using the plasma generated by laser energy, an experimental investigation of flow control on a sonic underexpanded jet injected normally into a Mach 2.45 crossflow is reported. The jet exit geometry was circular and was operated at a jet-to-crossflow momentum flux ratio of 1.7. The unperturbed flow field was analyzed with schlieren imaging, PIV velocity data, surface oil flow visualizations, and pressure sensitive paint measurements. As a means of excitation to the flow field, the plasma energy was focused in the center of the jet exit at three different vertical locations. The perturbed resulting flow field was analyzed with schlieren photography and particle image velocimetry. Analysis of phase averaged schlieren images suggested that the resulting blast wave from the laser pulse disrupted the structure of the barrel shock and Mach disk. The two-component velocity field data revealed that the excitation pulse also caused a perturbation to the jet shear layer and induced the formation of vortices that convect downstream. Finally, additional techniques were developed for the PIV diagnostics. First, while PIV is an established experimental technique for determining a velocity field, quantifying the uncertainty related with this method remains a challenging task. To this end, four sources of uncertainty are assessed: equipment, particle lag, sampling size, and processing algorithm. An example uncertainty analysis is conducted for a transverse sonic jet injected into a supersonic crossflow. However, the analysis is not specific to the example flow field and may be generally applied to any mean velocity field. Secondly, using the velocity data from PIV, a technique was developed to solve for density from the continuity equation over the entire flow field. The technique is validated using data from CFD simulations and demonstrated for experimental data for two flow fields.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Eli S. Lazar
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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