Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Engineering and Computer Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Sciences and Engineering
Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Aerospace Engineering | Astrodynamics | Propulsion and Power | Structures and Materials
Using experimental methods, zero net-mass flow actuators were optimized to manipulate flow around an airborne laser turret in order to reduce destructive aero-optics effects. Synthetic jets are created by 50 mm and 27 mm piezoelectric disk actuators. Our optimization process involved identifying an actuator’s cavity size, driving frequency, and amplitude to achieve the strongest, most consistent jet possible. The effects of driving a single actuator versus driving two actuators in or out of phase with one another were also investigated. An initial cavity depth was determined using the Helmholtz resonator cavity approximation which estimates the ideal cavity depth for a given resonance frequency. Hotwires were used to collect data and time series for the velocity profile of each actuator at different cavity depths, driving frequencies, and amplitudes. The length and area of the resonance cavity’s opening slot are being held constant throughout our optimization process. When operating at optimized cavity and input settings, the piezoelectric disk actuators were found to produce synthetic jets with velocities as high as 90 m/s. Two local maxima for synthetic jet velocities were located at driving frequencies approximating those of the piezoelectric actuators and resonance cavity. Changing the phase and number of actuators resulted in similar velocities, but at a different distribution of driving frequencies. The effects of the synthetic jets produced by these actuators on the flow acting over a spherical turret is being analyzed in wind tunnel testing utilizing flow visualization and pressure measurements.
DeNatale, Moira L. and Mihaly, Jonathan M., "Optimization of Zero Net-mass Flow Actuators for Aero-optics Applications" (2007). Honors Capstone Projects - All. 567.
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