Active separation control: From basic research to a simplified high-lift system

Avi Seifert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Active separation control, using periodic excitation, was studied experimentally at high Reynolds numbers. Previous tests conducted at chord Reynolds numbers as high as 40 x 106 demonstrated that periodic flow excitation can effectively delay flow separation from, and reattach separated flow to airfoils at flight conditions. This review concentrates on results obtained over a generic configuration at high Reynolds numbers. The effective frequencies generate one to four vortices over the controlled region at all times, regardless of the Reynolds number. The vortices are initially amplified by the separated shear-layer, and after initiating reattachment, the strength of the vortices decay as they are convected downstream. Large amplitude, low frequency vortices break down to smaller ones upon introduction at the excitation slot. The effects of steady mass transfer were compared to those of periodic excitation. It was found that steady blowing is significantly inferior to periodic excitation in terms of performance benefits and that the response to steady blowing is abrupt, and therefore undesirable from a control point of view. Steady suction and periodic excitation are comparable in effectiveness and both exhibit a gradual response to changes in the magnitude of the control input. The combination of weak steady suction and periodic excitation is extremely effective while the addition of steady blowing could be detrimental. Several performance benefits could be gained by applying the method to existing configurations, but it is expected that the full potential of the method can only be realized through the design of new configuration. A comprehensive, fully turbulent, database was generated in order to guide the development, and enable validation, of candidate unsteady CFD design tools.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - 2001
EventSAE World Aviation Congress - 2001 Aerospace Congress - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 10 Sep 200114 Sep 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Active separation control: From basic research to a simplified high-lift system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this