The prediction of cross-spectra from first mode instability waves within high-speed flow over sharp and blunt cones with plasma actuation

Abstract: Leading edge geometries, such as cones, moving at high-speed undergo intense loading due to the growth of instability waves and turbulent transition. These instability waves are highly spatially coherent. Aerodynamic loading related to instability waves and transition cause large-amplitude vibrations within the underlying structure, which may lead to flight-vehicle failure. We examine the effect of plasma actuation on the pressure fluctuations from first mode instability waves on the cone surface via theory with flow-fields predicted by computational fluid dynamics. We present predictions for a seven-degree half-angle cone at free-stream Mach 2.0, 3.5, and 5.0 with varying nose radii. Nose radii range from 0.038 to 38.1 mm and represent both sharp and large leading edge bluntness. For non-actuated flows, we observe that very small radii leading edges do not alter the maximum growth rates. Large radii cones have lower growth rates due to a thicker boundary layer. Spatial coherence of the instability waves decreases with increasing frequency. The growth rates are smaller at higher freestream Mach number. The effect of the simulated plasma actuator adds local heating to the flow-field. Increased nose radii lowers the relative temperature difference between the actuated and base flow-fields. The relative temperature differences are higher at higher freestream Mach number. We find that plasma actuation stabilizes the flow-field and spatial coherence becomes smaller.

  • Cheng, J. and Miller, S. A. E., “Cheng, J. and Miller, S. A. E., “The Prediction of Cross-Spectra from First Mode Instability Waves within High-Speed Flow Over Sharp and Blunt Cones with Plasma Actuation,” Aerospace Science and Technology, Vol. 130, No. 107870, 2022. pp. 1-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.ast.2022.107870 [Link via DOI][PDF Preprint]