Slope seeking for autonomous lift improvement by plasma surface discharge

TitleSlope seeking for autonomous lift improvement by plasma surface discharge
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBenard, N., E. Moreau, J. Griffin, and L. Cattafesta
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Start Page791
Date Published05/2010

The present paper describes an experimental investigation of closed-loop separation control using plasma actuators. The post-stall-separated flow over a NACA 0015 airfoil is controlled using a single dielectric barrier discharge actuator located at the leading edge. Open-loop measurements are first performed to highlight the effects of the voltage amplitude on the control authority for freestream velocities of 10–30 m/s (chord Re = 1.3 × 105 to 4 × 105). The results indicate that partial or full reattachment can be achieved and motivate the choice of the slope seeking approach as the control algorithm. A single-input/single-output algorithm is used to autonomously seek the optimal voltage required to achieve the control objective (full flow reattachment associated with maximum lift). The paper briefly introduces the concept of slope seeking, and a detailed parameterization of the controller is considered. Static (fixed speed) closed-loop experiments are then discussed, which demonstrate the capability of the algorithm. In each case, the flow can be reattached in an autonomous fashion. The last part of the paper demonstrates the robustness of the gradient-based, model-free scheme for dynamic freestream conditions. This paper highlights the capability of slope seeking to autonomously achieve high lift when used to drive the voltage of a plasma actuator. It also describes the advantages and drawbacks of such a closed-loop approach.