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Technical Paper

Recommendation of Experimental Setup and use of Standardized Electrohydrodynamic Dimensionless Parameters for Optimization of a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Flow Control Device

The high demand for traditional air traffic as well as increased use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has resulted in researchers examining alternative technologies which would result in safer, more reliable, and better performing aircraft. Active methods of aerodynamic flow control may be the most promising approach to this problem. Research in the area of aerodynamic control is transitioning from traditional mechanical flow control devices to, among other methods, plasma actuators. Plasma actuators offer an inexpensive and energy efficient method of flow control. Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD), one of the most widely studied forms of plasma actuation, employs an electrohydrodynamic (EHD) device which uses dominant electric fields for actuation. Unlike traditional flow control methods, a DBD device operates without moving components or mass injection methods.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Plasma Exhaust Profile Manipulation Using Magnetic Fields

In this research, the magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) effects of applying a toroidal magnetic field around an ionized exhaust plume were investigated to manipulate the exhaust profile of the plasma jet under near vacuum conditions. Tests for this experiment were conducted using the West Virginia University (WVU) Hypersonic Arc Jet Wind Tunnel. A series of twelve N52 grade neodymium magnets were placed in different orientations around a steel toroid mounted around the arc jet’s exhaust plume. Four different magnet orientations were tested in this experiment. Two additional configurations were run as control tests without any imposed magnetic fields surrounding the plume. Each test was documented using a set of 12 photographs taken from a fixed position with respect to the flow. The photographic data was analyzed by comparing images of the exhaust plume taken 10, 20, and 30 seconds after the plasma jet was activated.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation into the Degradation of Borosilicate Glass Used in Dielectric Barrier Discharge Devices

The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) has seen significantly increased levels of interest for its applications to various aerodynamic problems. The DBD produces stable atmospheric-pressure non-thermal plasma with highly energetic electrons and a variety of ions and neutral species. The resulting plasma often degrades the dielectric barrier between the electrodes of the device, ultimately leading to actuator failure. Several researchers have studied a variety of parameters related to degradation and time-dependent dielectric breakdown of various polymers such as PMMA or PVC that are often used in actuator construction. Many of these studies compare the degradation of these materials to that of borosilicate glass in which it is claimed that there is no observable degradation to the glass. Recent research at West Virginia University has shown that certain actuator operating conditions can lead to degradation of a glass barrier and can ultimately result in failure.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of Dielectric Barrier Discharge Driven Duct Flow for Propulsion Applications in Unmanned Aerial Systems

The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) has been studied significantly in the past two decades for its applications to various aerodynamic problems. The most common aerodynamic applications have been stall/separation control and boundary layer modification. Recently several researchers have proposed utilizing the DBD in various configurations to act as viable propulsion systems for micro and nano aerial vehicles. The DBD produces stable atmospheric-pressure non-thermal plasma in a thin sheet with a preferred direction of flow. The plasma flow, driven by electrohydrodynamic body forces, entrains the quiescent air around it and thus develops into a low speed jet on the order of 10-1 to 101 m/s. Several researchers have utilized DBDs in an annular geometric setup as a propulsion device. Other researchers have used them to alter rectangular duct flows and directional jet devices. This study investigates 2-D duct flows for applications in micro plasma thrusters.
Journal Article

Investigation of Small Scale Pulsed Detonation Engines and Feasibility Study for Implementation with Disposable Unmanned Aerial Systems

Significant efforts have been made in the research of Pulsed Detonation Engines (PDEs) to increase the reliability and longevity of detonation based propulsion systems for use in manned aircraft. However, the efficiency, durability, and low mechanical complexity of PDEs opens up potential for use in disposable unmanned-vehicles. This paper details the steps taken for producing a miniaturized pulse detonation engine at West Virginia University (WVU) to investigate the numerically generated constraining dimensions for Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) cited in this paper. Initial dimensions for the WVU PDE Demonstrator were calculated using fuel specific DDT spatial properties featured in the work of Dr. Phillip Koshy Panicker, of The University of Texas at Arlington. The WVU demonstrator was powered using oxygen and acetylene mixed in stoichiometric proportions.
Journal Article

Preliminary Systems Evaluation for a Guidable Extended Range Tube Launched-UAV

Tube Launched-Unmanned Air Vehicles (TL-UAV) are munitions that alter their trajectories during flight to enhance the capabilities by possibly extending range, increasing loiter time through gliding, and/or having guided targeting capabilities. Traditional munition systems, specifically the tube-launched mortar rounds, are not guided. Performance of these "dumb" munitions could be enhanced by updating to TL-UAV and still utilize existing launch platforms with standard propellant detonation firing methods. The ability to actively control the flight path and extend range of a TL-UAV requires multiple onboard systems which need to be identified, integrated, assembled, and tested to meet cooperative function requirements. The main systems, for a mortar-based TL-UAV being developed at West Virginia University (WVU), are considered to be a central hub to process information, aerodynamic control devices, flight sensors, a video camera system, power management, and a wireless transceiver.