Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1015–1023 | Cite as

Control of the corner separation in a compressor cascade by steady and unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuation

  • Ying-hong Li
  • Yun WuEmail author
  • Min Zhou
  • Chang-bing Su
  • Xiong-wei Zhang
  • Jun-qiang Zhu
Research Article


This paper reports experimental results on using steady and unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuation to control the corner separation, which forms over the suction surface and end wall corner of a compressor cascade blade passage. Total pressure recovery coefficient distribution was adopted to evaluate the corner separation. Corner separation causes significant total pressure loss even when the angle of attack is 0°. Both steady and unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuations suppress the corner separation effectively. The control effect obtained by the electrode pair at 25% chord length is as effective as that obtained by all four electrode pairs. Increasing the applied voltage improves the control effect while it augments the power requirement. Increasing the Reynolds number or the angle of attack makes the corner separation more difficult to control. The unsteady actuation is much more effective and requires less power due to the coupling between the unsteady actuation and the separated flow. Duty cycle and excitation frequency are key parameters in unsteady plasma flow control. There are thresholds in both the duty cycle and the excitation frequency, above which the control effect saturates. The maximum relative reduction in total pressure loss coefficient achieved is up to 28% at 70% blade span. The obvious difference between steady and unsteady actuation may be that wall jet governs the flow control effect of steady actuation, while much more vortex induced by unsteady actuation is the reason for better control effect.


Control Effect Chord Length Electrode Pair Total Pressure Loss Freestream Velocity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of symbols


Chord length


Blade spacing


Blade height


Inlet-air angle


Outlet-air angle


Blade stagger angle


Angle of attack


Freestream velocity


Reynolds number based on the axial chord length and the freestream velocity


Static temperature at the cascade inlet


Static pressure at the cascade inlet


Total pressure at the cascade inlet


Static pressure at the cascade outlet


Total pressure at the cascade outlet


Total pressure recovery coefficient


Total pressure loss coefficient


Total pressure loss coefficient without actuation


Total pressure loss coefficient with actuation


Relative reduction in the total pressure loss coefficient


Relative reduction in the maximum total pressure loss coefficient


Upper electrode width


Lower electrode width


Inner space of an electrode pair


Electrode height


Dielectric layer height


Space between adjacent electrode pairs


Period of the steady plasma aerodynamic actuation


Driving frequency of the high voltage sine wave


Period of the unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuation on duty


Period of the unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuation


Excitation frequency of the unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuation


Duty cycle of the unsteady plasma aerodynamic actuation


Characteristic length of the axial separation region at the endwall


Strouhal number based on the characteristic length and the local freestream velocity



The authors thank Min JIA and Cheng-qin LI for the help in the experiment. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50906100), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (20090450373).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying-hong Li
    • 1
  • Yun Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Min Zhou
    • 1
  • Chang-bing Su
    • 1
  • Xiong-wei Zhang
    • 1
  • Jun-qiang Zhu
    • 2
  1. 1.Engineering CollegeAir Force Engineering UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Institute of Engineering ThermophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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