Student: Chelsea Velasquez, Graduate Student in Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University
Faculty Advisor: Rich Wlezien
Internal Dynamics of Fluidic Actuators for Active Flow Control
Fluidic actuators are used to produce sweeping jets over the control surfaces of aerospace vehicles. The introduction of the jets allows for flow to remain laminar on a surface in conditions where flow separation occurs.
The field of active flow control has continued to grow as results are found that show improved aerodynamic performance on a wide range of aircraft. While the positive effects are very clear, there is still a necessity to understand the coordination of various parameters inside these actuators. Current research being conducted uses computational fluid dynamics simulations to analyze the flow physics inside the actuators. This methodology allows for access to types of data that can be difficult to gather from lab experimentation. The data collected from different points in the actuator are cross correlated to determine what interactions are occurring in the flow fields. In tandem, flow visualization is captured to compare with experimental data that has been completed.
As this type of research continues, improvements can be determined to make more efficient models.