New breakthrough could help raise fuel efficiency of future vehicles
Washington: The development of devices called plasma actuators has advanced the promise of controlling flows in new ways that raise lift, reduce drag and improve aerodynamic efficiencies - advances that may lead to safer, more efficient and more quiet land and air vehicles.
Unlike other flow control devices, plasma actuator geometries can be easily modified. Enter the serpentine shape, courtesy of the Applied Physics Research Group (APRG), a University of Florida research team in Gainesville that has been developing this and other types of novel plasma actuators for several years.
According to Mark Riherd, a doctoral candidate working under Subrata Roy, the founding director of APRG, said that the serpentine`s sinuous, ribbon-like curves appear to impart greater levels of versatility than traditional geometries used in plasma flow control devices.
He said that their serpentine device will have applications in reducing drag-related fuel costs for an automobile or an aircraft, minimizing the noise generated when flying over populated areas, mixing air-fuel mixtures for lean combustion, and enhancing heat transfer by generating local turbulence.
The study has been published in Journal of Applied Physics.
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