Delaying Separation Through Sweeping Jet Flow Control

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

2018 AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


This study investigated a proof of concept, low profile, externally mounted, additive-manufactured fluidic actuator array that can be attached, tested, and removed from an aerodynamic surface. A prototype array was first tested in a flat plate boundary layer to judge the concept’s unactuated and flow control effects.. Then a larger 10 actuator array was tested on a 3D wing in the Army Aviation Development Directorate (ADD) 7-ft x 10-ft Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. Two actuator locations were tested, x/c = 0.35 and 0.55, by detaching, moving, and reattaching the external array. Actuator input pressure and wing angle of attack were also varied. Wing loads were measured using the wind tunnel scale system. Results from the boundary layer experiment demonstrated that the actuators reduced the flow’s shape factor. Results in the 7-ft x 10-ft wind tunnel showed that the array was successful in delaying separation and decreasing drag compared to the baseline between an angle of attack of 12° to 16°. Additionally, the stall angle of attack was increased by 2°. The flow control effectiveness was highly sensitive to the relative position between separation and the array. Oil visualization confirmed results and showed the array reattached the flow.

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