Control of a canonical separated flow

John Griffn, Matias Oyarzun, Louis N. Cattafesta, Jonathan H. Tu, Clarence Worth Rowley, Rajat Mittal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


A stalled airfoil can exhibit up to three natural frequencies associated with the separated flow: that of the shear layer, the separation bubble, and the wake. This work investigates these flow phenomena using a simplified canonical setup and targets their frequencies with zero-net mass-flux (ZNMF) actuation in order to effectively and effciently reduce the extent of the separation. First, boundary layer separation is created on a flat plate model, devoid of curvature that would otherwise include effects particular to the type of aerodynamic body, by imposing an adverse pressure gradient via a ZNMF suction/blowing boundary condition on the tunnel ceiling. At a chord Reynolds number of 105, the nominal two-dimensional characteristics of the flow are verified. The uncontrolled flow is characterized, including identification of the key flow frequency content, prior to strategically targeting this content with unsteady actuation. The identified natural frequencies of the shear layer and wake are then targeted via open-loop ZNMF sinusoidal and burst-modulated (BM) forcing. The results clearly indicate the ability to reattach the separated flow using significantly reduced Cμ values via BM forcing compared to sinusoidal forcing at the actuator resonance frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication43rd Fluid Dynamics Conference
StatePublished - 2013
Event43rd AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2013Jun 27 2013

Publication series

Name43rd Fluid Dynamics Conference


Other43rd AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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