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Published September 2018 | Published
Journal Article Open

Technique for Enhanced Flow Control Efficiency Through Thermal Actuation


Thermal active flow control has been developed to enhance the efficiency of active flow control systems. The actuation concept is derived from gas-dynamics principles, and it is based on thermal control of the air supply. It is shown that higher air supply temperatures result in reduced mass flow rate with no degradation in active flow control performance. A computational method has been used to systematically investigate the hot air supply approach for isolated blowing actuators and fluidic oscillators. Subsequently, the thermal control concept has been computationally evaluated for airplane applications. These include enhanced control authority of a vertical tail and an airplane high-lift system, confirming the trends observed from the gas-dynamics analysis with regard to reduced actuation input as a function of supply temperature. Further confirmation of the thermal actuation concept was experimentally obtained for a bench-top actuator and a vertical-tail model in a wind-tunnel setting. The paper introduces potential approaches for system integration associated with heated supply, while highlighting the benefit of using available high-temperature sources for active flow control.

Additional Information

© 2018 by The Boeing Company. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Presented as Paper 2017-3040 at the 35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, Denver, CO, 5–9 June 2017; received 14 November 2017; revision received 6 April 2018; accepted for publication 21 April 2018; published online 10 August 2018.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023