This paper presents an experimental investigation, carried out at the Icare Laboratory by the FAST team, focusing on plasma flow control in supersonic and rarefied regime. The study analyzes how the Mach number as well as the ambient pressure modify the repercussions of the plasma actuator on the shock wave. It follows previous experiments performed in the MARHy (ex–SR3) wind tunnel with a Mach 2 flow interacting with a sharp flat plate, where modifications induced by a plasma actuator were observed. The flat plate was equipped with a plasma actuator composed of two aluminum electrodes. The upstream one was biased with a negative DC potential and thus, created a glow discharge type plasma. Experimental measurements showed that the boundary layer thickness and the shock wave angle increased when the discharge was ignited. The current work was performed with two nozzles generating Mach 4 flows but at two different static pressures: 8 and 71 Pa. These nozzles were chosen to study independently the impact of the Mach number and the impact of the pressure on the flow behavior. In the range of the discharge current considered in this experimental work, it was observed that the shock wave angle increased with the discharge current of $$+15\%$$ + 15 % for the Mach 2 flow but the increase rate doubled to $$+28\%$$ + 28 % for the Mach 4 flow at the same static pressure, showing that the discharge effect is even more significant when boosting the flow speed. When studying the effect of the discharge on the Mach 4 flow at higher static pressure, it was observed that the topology of the plasma changed drastically and the increase in the shock wave angle with the discharge current of $$+21 \%$$ + 21 % .
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: May 23, 2017
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