Hypersonic aerodynamic control and thrust vectoring by nonequilibrium cold-air magnetohydrodynamic devices

Mikhail N. Shneider, Sergey O. Macheret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A theoretical investigation of hypersonic aerodynamic control with cold-air magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) devices was conducted for an inviscid flat-plate flow. The magnetic field is either perpendicular or directed at an angle to the plate. The cold hypersonic flow is ionized by electron beams injected along the magnetic field lines. The accelerating or decelerating Lorentz forces together with the joule heating of the flow can ensure both angle-of-attack and steering control. The profiles of tangential forces are shown to vary dramatically with the ratio χ of the applied electric field to the product of freestream velocity and the magnetic field at the surface, from predominantly decelerating forces (drag) at low χ to a combination of deceleration near the surface and acceleration of the outer flow at χ ≈ 0.5, to only acceleration (thrust) at χ = 1. Varying the tilt angle of the magnetic field is shown to increase the flexibility of MHD control. The normal (lift) force created by the MHD region is shown to be substantially stronger than the drag/thrust force, with the lift/drag (for MHD generators) or lift/thrust (for accelerators) ratios increasing from about two with magnetic field tilted against the flow or normal to the surface to more than three with aft-tilted magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-497
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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