Experimental Study Of Micro-vortex Generators At Mach 2.5
Pierce, Adam J.
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Vortex generators are geometrical shapes that produce trailing vortices and are widely used for their ability to improve the flow quality over areas where flow separation may occur. Current topics involve utilizing the performance capabilities of vortex generators to influence the boundary layer under supersonic conditions. Such influence may provide an alternative means of reducing boundary layer flow separation and improving the overall quality of the flow in the boundary layer. This influence would maintain low drag in supersonic inlets and reduce the need for mechanical equipment used for boundary layer bleed leading to a reduction in aircraft weight and an overall increase in aircraft performance. This study reports the results of experimental tests conducted using of micro-vortex generators on a flat plate at Mach 2.5. Qualitative analysis was performed using surface flow test and schlieren imagery. These results where compared with LES results produced by the Mathematics Department for code verification. Quantitative boundary layer analysis was conducted using particle image velocimetry and the results agree well with theory. The results of this study conclude that micro-vortex generators influence the boundary in both thickness and overall flow structure. The work conducted in this study was funded by AFOSR Grant No. FA9550-08-1-0201.