Transitory separation control of a static and pitching 2-D airfoil is investigated in wind tunnel experiments using pulsed actuation on time scales that are an order of magnitude shorter than the characteristic convective time scale T conv. Actuation is provided by momentary [O(0.05T conv)] pulsed jets that are generated by a spanwise array of combustion-based actuators integrated in the center segment of the airfoil. The flow field in the center plane above the airfoil and in its near wake is computed from high-resolution PIV measurements in multiple overlapping cross-stream frames that are obtained phase-locked to the actuation and allow for tracking of vorticity concentrations. A single actuation pulse leads to a strong transitory increase in the circulation about the airfoil that is manifested by a partial collapse of the separated flow domain and is accompanied by the shedding of a large-scale clockwise vortex, and the attachment and accumulation of the surface vorticity layer behind it. The slow relaxation of the flow following termination of pulsed actuation returns the airfoil to full stall within 10T conv. It is shown that repetition of actuation pulses within T conv can increase the streamwise extent of the attached flow domain, and the trapped vorticity leads to a substantial increase in the peak transitory circulation before the flow separates again when the actuation is terminated. The coupling of the pulsed actuation to the airfoil’s motion enhances the actuation’s control authority. Single pulse can significantly increase the lift over most of the oscillation cycle both at post-stall and at angles of attack that are below stall. Several actuation pulses distributed during the pitch oscillation cycle can momentarily extend the accumulation of vorticity and thus increase the transitory and cycle-averaged lift, and improve the airfoil’s pitch stability.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2013
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