Stabilization of crossflow instability with plasma actuators: linearized navier stokes simulations

Kean Lee Kang, Richard Ashworth*, Shahid Mughal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

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This paper describes work carried out within the European Union (EU)-Russia Buterfli project to look at the control of transition-causing “target” stationary cross flow vortices, by the use of distributed plasma actuation to generate sub-dominant “killer” modes. The objective is to use the “killer” modes to control the “target” modes through a non-linear stabilizing mechanism. The numerical modelling and results are compared to experimental studies performed at the TsAGI T124 tunnel for a swept plate subject to a favorable pressure gradient flow. A mathematical model for the actuator developed at TsAGI was implemented in a linearized Navier Stokes (LNS) solver and used to model and hence predict “killer” mode amplitudes at a measurement plane in the experiment. The LNS analysis shows good agreement with experiment, and the results are used as input for non-linear PSE analysis to predict the effect of these modes on crossflow transition. Whilst the numerical model indicates a delay in transition, experimental results indicated an advance in transition rather than delay. This was determined to be due to actuator induced unsteadiness arising in the experiment, resulting in the generation of travelling crossflow disturbances which tended to obscure and thus dominate the plasma stabilized stationary disturbances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date15 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow control
  • Plasma actuator
  • Laminar turbulent transition
  • Crossflow instability
  • Linearized Navier Stokes
  • Parabolized stability equations
  • PSE


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