Flow control by energy addition into high-speed air
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The performance of high-speed vehicles may be enhanced in numerous ways by the controlled addition of energy to the air flow. The particular mechanisms that are currently receiving attention include the reduction of drag by a plasma air spike in front of a vehicle, active control of shock location by direct energy addition or by MHD processes, rapid vehicle steering by localized energy addition, power extraction by MHD processes, and control of transition and boundary layer phenomena by acoustic forcing. This paper outlines approaches that are under consideration for adding energy to the flow in order to accomplish these tasks. The paper discusses laser and electron beam-controlled addition of microwave energy for drag reduction, steering and related applications, the use of electron beams for establishing conductivity for MHD applications, and the addition cf up to megahertz of acoustic energy into a boundary layer using pulse-burst laser concepts. © 2000 by Princeton University.
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