Shockwaveturbulent boundary layer interaction control using magnetically driven surface discharges Academic Article uri icon


  • This study demonstrates the potential for shockwave-turbulent boundary layer interaction control in air using low current DC constricted surface discharges forced by moderate strength magnetic fields. An analytical model describing the physics of magnetic field forced discharge interaction with boundary layer flow is developed and compared to experiments. Experiments are conducted in a Mach 2.6 indraft air tunnel with discharge currents up to 300 mA and magnetic field strengths up to 5 Tesla. Separation- and non-separation- inducing shocks are generated with diamond-shaped shockwave generators located on the wall opposite to the surface electrodes, and flow properties are measured with schlieren imaging, static wall pressure probes and acetone flow visualization. The effect of plasma control on boundary layer separation depends on the direction of the Lorentz force (j B). It is observed that by using a Lorentz force that pushes the discharge upstream, separation can be induced or further strengthened even with discharge currents as low as 30 mA in a 3-Tesla magnetic field. If shock-induced separation is present, it is observed that by using Lorentz force that pushes the discharge downstream, separation can be suppressed, but this required higher currents, greater than 80 mA. Acetone planar laser scattering is used to image the flow structure in the test section and the reduction in the size of recirculation bubble and its elimination are observed experimentally as a function of actuation current and magnetic field strength. 2010 Springer-Verlag.

published proceedings

  • Experiments in Fluids

author list (cited authors)

  • Kalra, C. S., Zaidi, S. H., Miles, R. B., & Macheret, S. O.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011 11:11 AM