The anticipated benefits of the proposed cyclotronic plasma actuator are improved actuator authority and improved effectiveness for low-speed and high-speed flows, when compared to traditional dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators. Additional benefits are anticipated for alleviation of turbulent separation through 3D mixing mechanisms, similar to passive vortex generators. It is anticipated that this mixing mechanism will also provide an improvement in operational efficiency, or reduced power requirements, for the proposed actuator, as compared to existing technologies. The proposed innovation also has the benefit over passive devices, as control authority can be provided on-demand and it does not produce undesirable parasite drag during high-speed cruise. Additionally, the actuator has no moving parts and does not require the heavy infrastructures and mechanical complexities associated with high-pressure air storage.
The use of the cyclotronic plasma actuator also has potential to lead to significant reductions in drag and fuel burn for commercial aircraft through improved control surface effectiveness and high-lift performance, allowing the weight and size of aerodynamic surfaces to be reduced. Operational benefits are also anticipated for the efficiency, maneuverability, and stall prevention of military aircraft in high angle of attack operation.