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SBIR/STTR

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

Active 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 across strong adverse pressure gradients. Effectively, the proposed actuator would function like vortex generators that one can actively enable or disable on command. This subsystem demonstration will pioneer a family of devices to address a notoriously difficult problem in active flow control. The new capabilities in aerodynamic performance enabled by this innovative actuation approach will be demonstrated in both ground and flight tests. CU Aerospace will design, fabricate, and deliver a flight-ready demonstration plasma actuator to NASA at the end of the Phase II program. More »

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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