group

Authors' Class Standing

Trevor Perkins, Senior Joshua Pevitz, Senior Daniel Brunson, Senior Michael Tamborski, Senior

Lead Presenter's Name

Trevor Perkins

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. John Ekaterinaris

Abstract

Project DRIFT (Drag Reducing Ionized Flow Technology) aimed to improve aerodynamic performance and efficiency by ionizing the air that flows over an aircraft’s wing in subsonic, compressible regimes. To do so, viscous skin friction and resulting drag were reduced via the effects of corona discharge, an electrically induced phenomenon that alters the properties of the medium in which it resides. The corona discharge creates a flow with unique ionized properties that may lead to the ability to control aerodynamic characteristics. To achieve such a phenomenon, voltages of up to 15,000 volts were generated through a neon transformer and introduced to the models through electric diode pairs. Wind tunnel testing in conjunction with force balances allowed for drag measurements of various models with and without the corona activated. This allowed for the analysis and study of the ionization acting as a body force and adding momentum to the flow, delaying flow separation and improving aerodynamic performance. This quantitative data was analyzed and resulting in DRIFT’s conclusions surrounding the application of medium ionization within compressible flows.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Ignite Grant

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Medium Ionization for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

Project DRIFT (Drag Reducing Ionized Flow Technology) aimed to improve aerodynamic performance and efficiency by ionizing the air that flows over an aircraft’s wing in subsonic, compressible regimes. To do so, viscous skin friction and resulting drag were reduced via the effects of corona discharge, an electrically induced phenomenon that alters the properties of the medium in which it resides. The corona discharge creates a flow with unique ionized properties that may lead to the ability to control aerodynamic characteristics. To achieve such a phenomenon, voltages of up to 15,000 volts were generated through a neon transformer and introduced to the models through electric diode pairs. Wind tunnel testing in conjunction with force balances allowed for drag measurements of various models with and without the corona activated. This allowed for the analysis and study of the ionization acting as a body force and adding momentum to the flow, delaying flow separation and improving aerodynamic performance. This quantitative data was analyzed and resulting in DRIFT’s conclusions surrounding the application of medium ionization within compressible flows.

 

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