Effects of steady and pulsed discharge arcs on shock wave control in Mach 2.5 flow

Fan Liu, Hong Yan*, Wangjie Zhan, Yunpeng Xue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of the steady and pulsed arc discharge on the oblique shock wave control are explored through an experimental study in a supersonic wind tunnel with the maximum design Mach number of 2.5. The oblique shock is formed by a compression ramp with an angle of 7 degree mounted on the floor of the wind tunnel. Four electrodes are placed upstream of the compression ramp and spaced equally in the spanwise direction to generate the discharge arcs. The steady discharge is generated between the electrodes and downstream ramp corner, forming streamwise arcs. The arc length can be modulated between 10 mm and 40 mm by moving the electrodes in the streamwise direction. With a High Frequency Switch (HFS), the pulsed discharge is achievable with a frequency range from 5 kHz to 50 kHz. The pulsed discharge is generated between two adjacent electrodes, forming so-called transversal arcs, which are blown downstream by the main flow. Results show that the steady discharge arcs act like a uniformly distributed conductor. With an increase of the arc length, the arc power increases, and the weakening effect on the shock is enhanced. For the pulsed discharge arcs, the shorter arcs are observed with higher discharge frequency, which implies a lower arc power. Overall, the weakening effect of the steady arcs on the shock is more effective with shock strength reduced by 4%, compared to the pulsed ones with only 0.35% reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105330
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Experiments
  • Pulsed discharge arcs
  • Shock wave control
  • Steady discharge arcs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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