Experiments in Fluids

, 58:74 | Cite as

Influence of Mach number and static pressure on plasma flow control of supersonic and rarefied flows around a sharp flat plate

  • Sandra Coumar
  • Viviana LagoEmail author
Research Article


This paper presents an experimental investigation, carried out at the Icare Laboratory by the FAST team, focusing on plasma flow control in supersonic and rarefied regime. The study analyzes how the Mach number as well as the ambient pressure modify the repercussions of the plasma actuator on the shock wave. It follows previous experiments performed in the MARHy (ex–SR3) wind tunnel with a Mach 2 flow interacting with a sharp flat plate, where modifications induced by a plasma actuator were observed. The flat plate was equipped with a plasma actuator composed of two aluminum electrodes. The upstream one was biased with a negative DC potential and thus, created a glow discharge type plasma. Experimental measurements showed that the boundary layer thickness and the shock wave angle increased when the discharge was ignited. The current work was performed with two nozzles generating Mach 4 flows but at two different static pressures: 8 and 71 Pa. These nozzles were chosen to study independently the impact of the Mach number and the impact of the pressure on the flow behavior. In the range of the discharge current considered in this experimental work, it was observed that the shock wave angle increased with the discharge current of \(+15\%\) for the Mach 2 flow but the increase rate doubled to \(+28\%\) for the Mach 4 flow at the same static pressure, showing that the discharge effect is even more significant when boosting the flow speed. When studying the effect of the discharge on the Mach 4 flow at higher static pressure, it was observed that the topology of the plasma changed drastically and the increase in the shock wave angle with the discharge current of \(+21 \%\).



This work is supported by the French Government’s Investissement d’Avenir program: Laboratoire d’Excellence CAPRYSSES (Grant No. ANR-11-LABX-0006-01). The authors would furthermore like to acknowledge the constructive feedback from the reviewers.


  1. Allègre J (1992) The SR3 low density wind-tunnel. Facility capabilities and research development. In: AIAA paper no, pp 92–3972Google Scholar
  2. Allègre J, Bisch C (1968) Angle of attack and leading edge effects on the flow about a flat plate at mach number 18. AIAA J 6(5):848–852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allègre J, Raffin M, Chpoun A, Gottesdiener L (1994) Rarefied hypersonic flow over a flat plate with truncated leading edge. Progr Astronaut Aeronaut 160:285–285Google Scholar
  4. Atkinson M, Poggie J, Camberos J (2013) Control of high-angle-of-attack reentry flow with plasma actuators. J Spacecr Rocket 50(2):337–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bird GA (1994) Molecular gas dynamics and the direct simulation of gas flows. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Bletzinger P, Ganguly BN, van Wie D, Garscadden A (2005) Plasmas in high speed aerodynamics. J Phys D Appl Phys 38(4):R33–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borgnakke C, Larsen PS (1975) Statistical collision model for Monte Carlo simulation of polyatomic gas mixture. J Comput Phys 18(4):405–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheng H (2012) Boundary-layer displacement and leading-edge bluntness effects in high-temperature hypersonic flow. J Aerosp SciGoogle Scholar
  9. Chue SH (1975) Pressure probes for fluid measurement. Progr Aerosp Sci 16(2):147–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coumar S, Joussot R, Parisse JD, Lago V (2015) Effect of surface heating on shock wave modification by a plasma actuator in a rarefied supersonic flow over a flat plate. In: 20th AIAA international space planes and hypersonic systems and technologies conference, p 3562Google Scholar
  11. Coumar S, Joussot R, Parisse JD, Lago V (2016) Influence of a plasma actuator on aerodynamic forces over a flat plate interacting with a rarefied Mach 2 flow. Int J Numer Methods Heat Fluid Flow 26(7):2081–2100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fisher SS, Bharathan D (1973) Glow-discharge flow visualization in low-density free jets. J Spacecr Rocket 10(10):658–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hayes WD, Probstein RF (1966) Hypersonic flow theory, vol 1. Inviscid flows. Academic Press, New YorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. Joussot R, Lago V (2016) Experimental investigation of the properties of a glow discharge used as plasma actuator applied to rarefied supersonic flow control around a flat plate. IEEE Trans Dielectr Electr Insul 23(2):671–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Joussot R, Lago V, Parisse JD (2015) Quantification of the effect of surface heating on shock wave modification by a plasma actuator in a low-density supersonic flow over a flat plate. Exp Fluids 56(5):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kimmel RL, Hayes JR, Menart JA, Shang J (2004) Effect of surface plasma discharges on boundary layers at Mach 5. In: AIAA Paper No. 2004-0509Google Scholar
  17. Kinefuchi K, Starikovskiy A, Miles R (2016) Control of shock wave-boundary layer interaction using nanosecond dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators. In: 52nd AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, p 5070Google Scholar
  18. Kuo SP (2007) Plasma mitigation of shock wave: experiments and theory. Shock Waves 17(4):225–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kuo SP, Bivolaru D (2007) The similarity of shock waves generated by a cone-shaped plasma and by a solid cone in a supersonic airflow. Phys Plasmas 14(2):023503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lago V, Lengrand J, Menier E, Elizarova T, Khokhlov A, Abe T (2008) Physical interpretation of the influence of a DC discharge on a supersonic rarefied flow over a flat plate. In: AIP Conference Proceedings, vol 1084, p 901Google Scholar
  21. Lago V, Joussot R, Parisse J (2014) Influence of the ionization rate of a plasma discharge applied to the modification of a supersonic low Reynolds number flow field around a cylinder. J Phys D Appl Phys 47(12):125202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lengrand JC (1991) DSMC calculation of a compression corner flow. Aerothermodyn Space VehGoogle Scholar
  23. Leonov SB (2011) Review of plasma-based methods for high-speed flow control. AIP Conf Proc 1376:498–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Leonov SB, Yarantsev DA (2008) Near-surface electrical discharge in supersonic airflow: properties and flow control. J Propul Power 24(6):1168–1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leonov SB, Yarantsev DA, Gromov VG, Kuriachy AP (2005) Mechanisms of flow control by near-surface electrical discharge generation. In: AIAA Paper No. 2005–780Google Scholar
  26. Menart J, Handerson S, Atzbach C, Shang J, Kimmel R, Hayes J (2004) Study of surface and volumetric heating effects in a Mach 5 flow. In: AIAA Paper No. 2004-2262Google Scholar
  27. Menart J, Stanfield S, Shang J, Kimmel R, Hayes J (2006) Study of plasma electrode arrangements for optimum lift in a Mach 5 flow. In: 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, p 1172Google Scholar
  28. Menier E (2007) Influence d’une décharge électrique continue sur un écoulement supersonique raréfié. PhD thesis, Université d’Orléans, FranceGoogle Scholar
  29. Menier E, Lengrand JC, Depussay E, Lago V, Leger L (2006) Direct simulation Monte Carlo method applied to the ionic wind in supersonic rarefied conditions. AIAA paper (2006-3343)Google Scholar
  30. Menier E, Leger L, Depussay E, Lago V, Artana G (2007) Effect of a DC discharge on the supersonic rarefied air flow over a flat plate. J Phys D Appl Phys 40(3):695–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Palm P, Meyer R, Píonjes E, Rich JW, Adamovich IV (2003) Nonequilibrium radio frequency discharge plasma effect on conical shock wave: M = 2.5 flow. AIAA J 41(3):465–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Phelps A (2001) Abnormal glow discharges in Ar: experiments and models. Plasma Sources Sci Technol 10(2):329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Poggie J (2005) DC glow discharges: a computational study for flow control applications. In: 36th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference, p 5303Google Scholar
  34. Raffin M (1994) Rarefied hypersonic flow over a sharp flat plate: numerical and experimental results. In: Rarefied gas dynamics: technical papers from the Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 26–30, 1992, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Incorporated, vol 160, p 276Google Scholar
  35. Semenov VE, Bondarenko VG, Gildenburg VB, Gubchenko VM, Smirnov AI (2002) Weakly ionized plasmas in aerospace applications. Plasma Phys Contr F 44(12B):B293–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shin J, Narayanaswamy V, Raja L, Clemens NT (2007) Characteristics of a plasma actuator in Mach 3 flow. In: AIAA Paper No. 2007–788Google Scholar
  37. Starikovskiy A, Aleksandrov N (2011) Nonequilibrium plasma aerodynamics. INTECH Open Access PublisherGoogle Scholar
  38. Surzhikov ST, Shang JS (2004) Two-component plasma model for two-dimensional glow discharge in magnetic field. J Comput Phys 199(2):437–464CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  39. Tsuboi N, Matsumoto Y (2001) DSMC simulation with gas-surface interaction models in hypersonic rarefied flow. In: AIP Conference Proceedings, IOP Institute OF Physics Publishing Ltd, pp 331–338Google Scholar
  40. Zuppardi G (2015) Aerodynamic control capability of a wing-flap in hypersonic, rarefied regime. Adv Aircr Spacecr Sci 2(1):45–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICARE, CNRS, UPR 30211C Avenue de la Recherche ScientifiqueOrléans Cedex 2France

Personalised recommendations