Research Article

Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 329-345

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Dielectric-barrier-discharge vortex generators: characterisation and optimisation for flow separation control

  • Timothy N. JukesAffiliated withFaculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham Email author 
  • , Kwing-So ChoiAffiliated withFaculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham


We investigated the use of dielectric-barrier-discharge plasma actuators as vortex generators for flow separation control applications. Plasma actuators were placed at a yaw angle to the oncoming flow, so that they produced a spanwise wall jet. Through interaction with the oncoming boundary layer, this created a streamwise longitudinal vortex. In this experimental investigation, the effect of yaw angle, actuator length and plasma-induced velocity ratio was studied. Particular attention was given to the vortex formation mechanism and its development downstream. The DBD plasma actuators were then applied in the form of co-rotating and counter-rotating vortex arrays to control flow separation over a trailing-edge ramp. It was found that the vortex generators were successful in reducing the separation region, even at plasma-to-free-stream velocity ratios of less than 10%.