Plasma Flow Control Technology for Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition Control
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Sustained hypersonic flights offer potentially revolutionary improvements in space access for military applications. Limiting factors in hypersonic vehicle performance include aerodynamic drag and heating rates. Recent research has indicated thathypersonic flow fields may be modified significantly by magnetic Lorentz forces through the creation and manipulation of plasma near the vehicles. Such concepts can be used to control hypersonic flows by suppressing or enhancing boundary-layer transitionin order to significantly reduce both drag and heating rates. On the other hand, MHD control of hypersonic flows presents a challenge which requires not only an understanding of the complex hypersonic MHD flow physics but also the creation of large volumesof plasma and strong magnetic fields. We propose to carry out Phase II numerical and experimental studies with the objective of developing plasma flow control technology focused on the suppression or enhancement of hypersonic boundary layer transition. Wewill design optimal plasma control strategies and study their effectiveness for the MHD control of stability and transition of hypersonic boundary layer flows over a flat plate and a blunt wedge. The effects and efficiency of various potential controlstrategies will be investigated by normal-mode linear stability analyses, direct numerical simulations, and experimental studies.
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