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Air Plasma Mitigation of Shock Wave

DOI: 10.4236/aast.2016.12006, PP. 59-69

Keywords: Shock Wave Mitigation, Electric Discharge, Air Plasma Deflector, Shadowgraph, Drag Reduction, Wind Tunnel, Charge Transfer

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Abstract:

Shock wave is a detriment in the development of supersonic aircrafts; it increases flow drag as well as surface heating from additional friction; it also initiates sonic boom on the ground which precludes supersonic jetliner to fly overland. A shock wave mitigation technique is demonstrated by experiments conducted in a Mach 2.5 wind tunnel. Non-thermal air plasma generated symmetrically in front of a wind tunnel model and upstream of the shock, by on-board 60 Hz periodic electric arc discharge, works as a plasma deflector, it deflects incoming flow to transform the shock from a well-defined attached shock into a highly curved shock structure. In a sequence with increasing discharge intensity, the transformed curve shock increases shock angle and moves upstream to become detached with increasing standoff distance from the model. It becomes diffusive and disappears near the peak of the discharge. The flow deflection increases the equivalent cone angle of the model, which in essence, reduces the equivalent Mach number of the incoming flow, manifesting the reduction of the shock wave drag on the cone. When this equivalent cone angle exceeds a critical angle, the shock becomes detached and fades away. This shock wave mitigation technique helps drag reduction as well as eliminates sonic boom.

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