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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Cyclotronic Plasma Actuator with Arc-Magnet for Active Flow Control, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

CU Aerospace and team partner the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign propose to develop a new type of plasma-based flow control actuator, which uses a high-voltage electrode that arcs to a cylindrical grounded electrode within a magnetic field. The result is that an arc plasma can be produced, with a Lorentz force that creates a plasma disc (similar concept to a cyclotron). The thought behind this concept is that the thermal actuator authority provided by the plasma arc is coupled with an induced swirl component into a boundary-layer flow, which will enhance mixing and allow flows to remain attached in high adverse pressure gradients. Effectively, the proposed actuator would function like vortex generators that one could enable or disable on command. This subsystem demonstration will pioneer a family of devices to address a notoriously difficult problem in active flow control. More »

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