Princeton University Library Catalog

Dielectric Barrier Discharge Device Thrust Performance at Low Pressures

Gordon, Seth E. [Browse]
Senior thesis
Miles, Richard B. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering [Browse]
Class year:
53 pages
Restrictions note:
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note:
Plasma aerodynamic control is a promising development in plasma physics and aerodynamics that may hold the key to improving aircraft efficiency and achieving robust and energy efficient control of hypersonic aircraft. Plasma actuators are advantageous due to a lack of a separate fuel requirement, a low power requirement, the capability for high-frequency control, a robust design, and the ability to be flush-mounted to a surface. Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) devices are a form of plasma actuator that have been shown to be effective at controlling and affecting near-surface airflows. DBD devices have been evaluated and modeled in a variety of configurations and ambient conditions. This paper details the performance of our dielectric barrier discharge device architecture at a variety of sub-atmospheric pressures, given a fixed voltage differential. We show that for this device configuration, DBD actuator thrust peaks at some sub-atmospheric pressure. However, this peak may be artificial due to the size constraints of our experimental arrangement. Should the trend toward higher DBD device thrust at low pressure continue, it may further validate the use of plasma aerodynamic control systems on high-flying, hypersonic vehicles that travel in a regime where existing mechanical and reaction control systems are ineffective.