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Publication Title | Optimization of Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuators for Icing Control

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Vol. 57, No. 2, March–April 2020
Engineering Notes
Optimization of Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuators for Icing Control
Haiyang Hu,∗ Xuanshi Meng,† and Jinsheng Cai‡ Northwestern Polytechnical University, 710072 Xi’an, People’s Republic of China
Wenwu Zhou§
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 200240 Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Yang Liu¶
East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858 and
Hui Hu**
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011
are composed of two electrodes separated by a dielectric material arranged in an asymmetric fashion [14–17]. The most common SDBD plasma flow control methods include alternative-current sur- face-dielectric-barrier-discharge (AC-SDBD) and nanosecond-pulse surface-dielectric-barrier-discharge (NS-SDBD) plasma actuations.
The mechanism of AC-SDBD plasma flow control has been studied by different researchers in recent years [14,16]. The results for different researchers are consistent, i.e., application of a suffi- ciently high-voltage ac signal between the electrodes weakly ionizes the air over the dielectric covering the encapsulated electrode. The ionization of the air is a dynamic process within the ac cycle. The ionized air, in the presence of the electric field, results in a body force vector. Such induced airflow can impart momentum to the flow, just like flow suction or blowing, but without mass injection.
For the NS-SDBD plasma actuator, it has great potential in high- speed flow control; however, its different aerodynamic effects at different timescales make its mechanism in the flow control much more complicated. In addition, because the input is a high-voltage signal of the nanosecond level, its electromagnetic interference is much stronger than that of the AC-SBDB, causing serious interfer- ence to the control and measurement equipment of the icing wind tunnel.
Recently, researchers have achieved effective flow control results at higher wind speeds and Reynolds numbers through the optimiza- tion of the actuator geometry, substrate materials, and other param- eters [18–20]. Using AC-SDBD plasma actuation, Zhang et al. [19] showed the effective flow control over an airfoil with an inflow velocity of 100 m/s using a symmetrically arranged encapsulated electrodes actuator; Kelley et al. [18] achieved effective flow control with an inflow velocity at a Ma  0.4 and a Reynolds number of 2.3 × 106 using 3.175-mm-thick ceramics as the insulating materials. Using NS-SDBD plasma actuation, Nishihara et al. [20] demon- strated effective bow shock perturbations with an incoming flow Mach number of five.
However, the drawback of plasma flow control is its low efficiency of energy conversion (the surface discharge-induced kinetic efficiency versus the discharge current is only several percent) [14]. The part of the electrical energy which is converted to heat remains useless as far as flow control applications are concerned [21–24].
Meng et al. [25,26] and Cai et al. [27] proposed a research method for icing control using AC-SDBD plasma actuation, which can make full use of the aerodynamic and thermal effects of SDBD plasma discharge. Meng et al. [26] and Cai et al. [27] showed the feasibility of SDBD plasma icing control on a cylinder model. The anti-/deicing performance of the AC-SDBD plasma actuator was evaluated based on visualization and thermal images in an icing wind tunnel.
Compared with the traditional anti-/de-icing system, AC-SDBD plasma almost satisfies all the icing control requirements of the next- generation aircraft design. First it can be flush mounted on the surfaces without interfering with the flow to keep the natural laminar flow, and it can be used for flow control when the aircraft is not in the icing condition during flight. Second, it can fully use the discharge energy of the AC-SDBD, i.e., both the thermal and aerodynamic effects. Besides, the self limiting nature of the discharge limits the rise in temperature of the AC-SDBD plasma thereby protecting the composite structures from over-heating during anti-/deicing. Lastly, with the development of the model battery technology, the AC-SDBD actuator can be powered by battery-driven pocket high- voltage generators, which have been installed on unmanned aerial vehicles in several field tests as electronic rudders [28]. Therefore, the AC-SDBD actuators can be comfortably mounted on an all-electric aircraft as a full electric-based icing control technique.
c = Re = T = T∝ =
chord length of airfoil, m
chord Reynolds number without water spray surface temperature, °C
static temperature of air, °C
= time, s
I. Introduction
ICING is regarded as a severe safety issue for the industry, such as aviation and wind energy in cold weather, because it will degrade the performance when supercooled water droplets impinge and freeze onto the surface of the airfoil and rotating blades. The con- tamination of the streamlined profile will cause serious degrada- tion of the aerodynamic efficiency and unbalance the whole rotor system. Therefore numerous studies have focused on this icing phenomenon and various anti-/de-icing technologies have been developed in the past few decades [1–5]. However, the current anti/ de-icing technology is not sufficient to address the ever-evolving requirements in aerodynamics, materials and energy consumption [6]. As a result, the novel methods and techniques for extended durability and efficient anti-/deicing performance are considered desirable [7–13].
Plasma flow control has received growing research attention in the past few decades for its unique features, such as no moving parts, fast response, and exceptional ease of installation on the surface without changing the shape. One such significant development is the use of surface dielectric barrier discharge (SDBD) plasma actuators, which
Received 8 August 2019; accepted for publication 7 October 2019; pub- lished online 13 February 2020. Copyright © 2020 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. All requests for copying and permission to reprint should be submitted to CCC at www; employ the eISSN 1533-3868 to initiate your request. See also AIAA Rights and Permissions
*Graduate Student; currenty Doctorate, Iowa State University, Iowa 50011. †Professor; (Corresponding Author).
§Assistant Professor;
¶Assistant Professor; **Professor;
Downloaded by IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY on June 29, 2020 | | DOI: 10.2514/1.C035697

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