USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Controlling Aerodynamic Surface Flow with Nonthermal Plasma

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Atmospheric Glow Technologies
924 Corridor Park Blvd. Knoxville, TN 37932
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Controlling Aerodynamic Surface Flow with Nonthermal Plasma
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: F33615-03-M-3331
Award Amount: $99,735.00


The plasma surface flow controllers, or plasma actuators, are based on momentum transfer created by either locally accelerating the charged species of the plasma in the electric field or by globally accelerating the charged species of the plasma via aninduced traveling wave imposed by electric field generated by several phases of applied high voltage. Plasma based surface flow controllers have already been demonstrated to induce vortices, induce flow, increase or decrease aerodynamic drag, and preventor reattach separated airflows. These electrohydrodynamic (EHD) modifications to the aerodynamic boundary layer have been verified by AGT researchers in low-speed wind tunnel testing. In order for the plasma actuator to be utilized on aircraft to modifythe flight performance, i.e., reduce drag or increase attack angles, the surface flow controller's induced surface airflow velocity must be increased by a magnitude of two to five.The primary objective of this research contract is to optimize the performance of the present state-of-the-art non-thermal plasma based surface flow controller. The performance will be optimized by finding the most efficient linear electrode geometry,catalytic surface effects, and power supply features that yield the greatest magnitude in the induced surface velocity of the surface flow controller. The plasma-based flow controller will initially be made available to various aeronautical researchgroups and military research facilities. When optimized, the flow controller will be marketed to commercial aircraft corporations for the reduction of net drag. The power and fuel savings that can be attained by reducing drag on commercial aircraft istremendous.

Principal Investigator:

Alan Wintenberg
Senior Engineer

Business Contact:

Kimberly Kelly-Wintenberg
Small Business Information at Submission:

924 Corridor Park Dr. Knoxville, TN 37932

EIN/Tax ID: 621801936
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No