Transitory control of separated shear layer using impulsive jet actuation

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Woo, Tak Kwong
Glezer, Ari
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The dynamics of controlled transitory 2- and 3-D attachment of the separated flow over a 2-D airfoil model are investigated in wind tunnel experiments. Pulsed actuation is effected on time scales that are an order of magnitude shorter than the characteristic convective time scale of the base flow by momentary jets that are generated by a spanwise array of combustion-based actuators. The effects of the transitory actuation on the aerodynamic characteristics of the airfoil are assessed using measurements of the global lift force and pitching moment and of streamwise distributions of surface pressure, and planar and stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (PIV) acquired phase-locked to the actuation waveform. A single spanwise-bounded actuation pulse leads to 2-D severing of the separated vorticity layer and the subsequent shedding of a large-scale stall vortex that are followed by momentary attachment of the upstream boundary layer and ultimately re-separation that are accompanied by a strong transitory change in the airfoil's circulation. It is shown that the primary mechanism for the attachment is alteration of the adverse pressure gradient of the separated base flow by local blockage of the momentary jet and.the formation of the large-scale stall vortex. The disparity between the characteristic time scales of flow attachment and subsequent separation [O(Tconv) and O(10Tconv), respectively] is exploited for temporal and spatial extensions of the attachment and enhancement of the global aerodynamic performance using strings of successive actuation pulses. Pulsed actuation effected by an unbounded actuator array leads to spanwise spreading of the induced transitory 3-D flow attachment well beyond the spanwise edges of the actuators. It is shown that 3-D pulsed actuation enhances the accumulation of vorticity over the airfoil and improves its aerodynamic performance compared to 2-D, spanwise-bounded actuation. When the airfoil is undergoing time-periodic pitch oscillations beyond its static stall margin, a sequence of staged 3-D actuation pulses coupled to the airfoil's motion can lead to reduced lift hysteresis and increased pitch stability (lower “negative damping”) that are typically associated with the presence of dynamic stall.
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