Towards the design of synthetic-jet actuators for full-scale flight conditions : Part 1: The fluid mechanics of synthetic-jet actuators

Shan Zhong, Mark Jabbal, Hui Tang, Luis Garcillan, Fushui Guo, Norman Wood, Clyde Warsop

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the proven capability of synthetic-jet actuators in delaying boundary-layer separation in laboratory experiments, a capability that allows the geometry and operating conditions of these devices to be designed and selected for maximum flow-control effectiveness in full-scale flight conditions has yet to be developed. In this two-part paper, the key results obtained during a 3-year research programme aiming at establishing such a capability based on a better understanding of the fluid mechanics of synthetic jets and an improved modelling capacity are reported. In Part 1 of this paper, the experimental studies of the behaviour of synthetic jets in both quiescent flow and a boundary layer are described. The work has led to an improved understanding of the dimensionless parameters that determine the formation and development of vortex rollup and how the strength of rollup can be enhanced by optimizing the geometry and operating condition. Based on the study of the nature of vortical structures produced as the result of the interaction with a boundary layer and their impact in the near-wall region where flow control is desired, the conditions for producing effective vortical structures for delaying flow separation were established. The finding from this work forms the basis of a number of criteria used for designing synthetic jet actuators for full-scale flight condition to be presented in Part 2. 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-307
Number of pages25
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow separation control
  • Synthetic jet actuators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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