Control of supersonic compression corner flow using a plasma actuator

Zongnan Chen, Jiaao Hao, Chih Yung Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The control performance of a pulsed nanosecond dielectric barrier discharge (NSDBD) plasma actuator with varying pulse voltages and locations on a supersonic compression corner is studied using experiments and numerical simulations. The compression corner with a flat plate length of 60 mm and a ramp angle of 10° under laminar flow separation is experimentally investigated in a Ludwieg wind tunnel under a unit Reynolds number of 7.8 × 106 m-1 and Mach number of 4. The plasma actuators are placed either upstream or downstream of the separation point, extending in the spanwise direction. The Schlieren technique is used to visualize the shock wave interaction and estimate the propagation speed of the induced shock by the plasma actuator. For the numerical simulations, a one-zone inhomogeneous phenomenological plasma model is adopted to predict key discharge parameters and simulate the fast-heating region. The results show that the reduction of separation bubble length is up to 17% and 45%, respectively, in the cases of upstream and downstream of the separation point under a high applied voltage of 50 kV. The evolution of the flow structures is examined to reveal the underlying control mechanism. The results indicate that the high-speed external fluid is entrained into the original separation region after NSDBD activation upstream of the separation point, resulting in flow reattachment upstream of the corner. The entrained fluid with high momentum compels the main separation to move downstream, accompanied by the fragmentation of the original shear layer. Furthermore, the suppression of the separation region is more effective when the plasma actuator is installed close to the separation region and in the first 200 μs during one pulse, providing a good suggestion for the actuation frequency and installed location.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073605
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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