Flow Control Using Energy Deposition at Mach 5

  • Leichao Yang

Student thesis: Phd


Flow control has always been an intense research subject with the pursuit of favourable control effects like drag reduction, transition delay, and separation prevention. In practice, these flow control effects are achieved using mechanical actuators such as deflectors, vortex generators, transverse jets and so on. However, such mechanical actuators may face the drag penalty and limitation of actuation response time. In recent years, energy deposition has been suggested as a novel flow control technique in high-speed flow with preferable characteristics like non-intrusive, easy arrangement and high actuation frequency. The motivation of this work is to experimentally explore the flow behaviour after the certain amount of energy is deposited in Mach 5 flow. The energy deposition is implemented using a thermal bump (surface energy deposition) and laser beam focusing (volumetric energy deposition).This work starts with the development of a measurement technique of luminescent paint for the present challenging hypersonic testing environment, which is used for the further energy deposition experiment. The successes of the luminescent paint development is demonstrated both on two-dimensional and axisymmetric models. The luminescent paint shows high spatial resolution and the accuracy comparing to the pressure transducer reading. The surface energy deposition is performed using an embedded heating element (thermal bump) on a flat plate. Qualitative and quantitative measurement techniques are utilised to study the modification to the flow structure and the alteration to the distribution of pressure and heat transfer rate after thermal bump is activated. The results reveal the appearance of induced shock wave and suspicious vortices traces due to the activated thermal bump as reported in other literatures. Re-distribution of surface pressure and heat transfer rate are also found.For the volumetric energy deposition, the laser beam is firstly focused in quiescent air in order to understand the induced flow pattern and the impingement to a solid plate. High-speed schlieren photography is utilised to provide an insight to the dynamic evolution of the induced shock wave propagation and plasma kernel development after laser-induced air breakdown. Then, the laser energy deposition is conducted over a flat plate with the presence of Mach 5 flow. The outward motion of the induced shock wave significantly distorts the boundary layer and changes the surface pressure distribution. The results show the different pattern of boundary distortion when laser beam energy is deposited at different positions downstream of the leading edge of flat plate. The entire induced flow pattern is similar to those induced by a pulsed micro-jet. In spite of the laser pulse width of 4 ns, the entire dynamic process lasts about 100 μs.
Date of Award31 Dec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKonstantinos Kontis (Supervisor)


  • Hypersonic Flow, Energy Deposition,
  • Flow Control

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