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Simulation of Rapidly Maneuvering Airfoils with Synthetic Jet Actuators

Jee, SolKeun
Lopez Mejia, Omar D.
Moser, Robert D.
Muse, Jonathan A.
Kutay, Ali Türker
Calise, Anthony J.
Synthetic jet actuators are investigated for rapidly maneuvering airfoils that are regulated by a closed-loop control system. To support active flow-control simulations performed here, the closed-loop system and vehicle dynamics are coupled with computational fluid dynamics. High-frequency sinusoidal pitching simulations with and without synthetic jet actuation indicate that the current synthetic jet actuators provide bidirectional change in aerodynamic forces during rapid maneuvers whose time scales are of the same order as the flow time scales. Responses of a wind-tunnel airfoil are well represented in the current simulations, which allows us to predict the response of the system for dynamic conditions representative of free flight. The control system is able to execute rapid free-flight maneuvers. It is observed that the controller is responding to small fluctuations caused by vortex shedding from the trailing-edge actuators.