Potential flow control applications of interest to NASA, based on the delay or early initiation of laminar-to-turbulent transition by manipulating near wall instability mechanisms, includes steering moments, reduced viscous drag, enhanced mixing, and reduced heat transfer. The SSDBD device may also be useful for reducing viscous drag, heat transfer, and fatigue caused by cyclic loading due to airframe vibration. These specific applications are achievable by controlling shock-induced boundary layer separation encountered in compression ramp geometries.
The potential flow control capabilities of the nanosecond pulse driven, offset semiconducting surface dielectric barrier discharge (SSDBD) device are not limited to NASA flight vehicles. In particular, the manipulation and control of subsonic instabilities such as stationary crossflow vortices by discrete roughness elements in the form of plasma bumps could potentially delay laminar-to-turbulent transition, greatly reducing viscous drag. In addition, the use of this device should be able to control boundary layer separation which would reduce viscous drag, and fatigue caused by cyclic loading due to airframe vibration.