Dynamics of active separation control at high Reynolds numbers

La Tunia G. Pack, Avi Seifert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A series of active flow control experiments were recently conducted at high Reynolds numbers on a generic separated configuration. The model simulates the upper surface of a 20% thick Glauert-Goldschmied type airfoil at zero angle of attack. The flow is fully turbulent since the tunnel sidewall boundary layer flows over the model. The main motivation for the experiments is to generate a comprehensive data base for validation of unsteady numerical simulation as a first step in the development of a CFD design tool, without which it would not be possible to effectively utilize the great potential of unsteady flow control. This paper focuses on the dynamics of several key features of the baseline as well as the controlled flow. It was found that the thickness of the upstream boundary layer has a negligible effect on the flow dynamics. It is speculated that separation is caused mainly by the highly convex surface while viscous effects are less important. The two-dimensional separated flow contains unsteady waves centered on a reduced frequency of 0.8, while in the three dimensional separated flow, frequencies around a reduced frequency of 0.3 and 1 are active. Several scenarios of resonant wave interaction take place at the separated shear-layer and in the pressure recovery region. The unstable reduced frequency bands for periodic excitation are centered on 1.5 and 5, but these reduced frequencies are based on the length of the baseline bubble that shortens due to the excitation. The conventional swept wing-scaling works well for the coherent wave features. Reproduction of these dynamic effects by a numerical simulation would provide benchmark validation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication38th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
StatePublished - 2000
Event38th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2000 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: 10 Jan 200013 Jan 2000


Conference38th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV


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