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Mechanical Engineering


Current research in experimental and computational fluid dynamics is focused in the area of flow control. Flow control devices are usually classified as either passive or active. Plasma actuators are active flow control devices that require input from an external power source. Current efforts have modeled the effects of plasma actuators as a body force near the electrode. The research presented herein focuses on modeling the fluid-plasma interaction seen in dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators as a body force vector in the region above the embedded electrode using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This body force is modeled as the product of the gradient of the potential due to the electric field and the net charge density. In a passive flow control study, two-dimensional simulations using CFD are done with a smooth and bumpy Eppler 398 airfoil with laminar, transition, and turbulent models in an effort to improve the understanding of the flow over bumpy airfoils and to quantify the advantages or disadvantages of the bumps.