Active skin for turbulent drag reduction Conference Paper uri icon


  • Drag reduction for aerial vehicles has a range of positive ramifications: reduced fuel consumption with the associated economic and environmental consequences, larger flight range and endurance and higher achievable flight speeds. This work capitalizes on recent advances in active turbulent drag reduction and active material based actuation to develop an active or "smart" skin for turbulent drag reduction in realistic flight conditions. The skin operation principle is based on computational evidence that spanwise traveling waves of the right amplitude, wavelength and frequency can result in significant turbulent drag reduction. Such traveling waves can be induced in the smart skin via active-material actuation. The flow control technique pursued is "micro" in the sense that only micro-scale wave amplitudes (order of 30 m) and energy inputs are sufficient to produce significant benefits. Two actuation principles have been proposed and analyzed. Different skin designs based on these two actuation principles have been discussed. The feasibility of these different actuation possibilities (such as Shape Memory Alloys and Piezoelectric material based actuators) and relative merits of different skin designs are discussed. The realization of a mechanically actuated prototype skin capable of generating a traveling wave, using a rapid prototyping machine, for validating the proposed drag reduction technique is also presented. 2002 SPIE 0277-786X/02/$15.00.

name of conference

  • Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Smart Electronics, MEMS, and Nanotechnology

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Rediniotis, O. K., Lagoudas, D. C., Mani, R., & Karniadakis, G. E.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Rediniotis, OK||Lagoudas, DC||Mani, R||Karniadakis, GE

editor list (cited editors)

  • Varadan, V. K.

publication date

  • January 2002