The characteristics of Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) plasma actuators as active flow control devices were studied in this thesis. To determine the effectiveness of plasma actuators for various plasma actuator configurations, an experimental system was designed that included the ability to perform current-voltage characteristic and power measurements, thrust measurements, and optical measurements. Variations in plasma actuator configurations investigated included electrode gap distance, electrode shape, and dielectric thickness. Experiments showed that dielectric thickness has the most significant effect on the plasma actuator performance compared to the other factors studied. ICCD camera visualization studies of the discharge indicated that the degree of discharge asymmetry between the two current half cycles is linearly related to the thrust. A simple model was used to explore the relationships between the applied voltage V, plasma length L, and dielectric thickness T under constant power conditions. The resulting relationship [see PDF for symbols]derived from this model agreed well with the experimental results. Initial experiments were also performed on the effectiveness improvement capabilities of plasma actuators constructed using micro-scale exposed electrodes, with recommendations for their further study.
University of Minnesota Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering thesis. January 2011. Major: Mechanical Engineering. Advisors: Uwe Kortshagen and Douglas Ernie. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 86 pages.
Separation Control using Plasma Actuators: Experimental Studies of Plasma Actuator Performance.
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