A major technological driver in current aircraft and other vehicles is the improvement of fuel efficiency. One way to increase the efficiency is to reduce the skin friction drag on these vehicles. This experimental study presents an active drag reduction technique which decreases the skin friction using spanwise traveling waves. A novel method is introduced for generating traveling waves which is low-profile, non-intrusive, and operates under various flow conditions. This wave generation method is discussed and the resulting traveling waves are presented. These waves are then tested in a low-speed wind tunnel to determine their drag reduction potential. To calculate the drag reduction, the momentum integral method is applied to turbulent boundary layer data collected using a pitot tube and traversing system. The skin friction coefficients are then calculated and the drag reduction determined. Preliminary results yielded a drag reduction of ≈ 5% for 244Hz traveling waves. Thus, this novel wave generation method possesses the potential to yield an easily implementable, non-invasive drag reduction technology.
Patrick F. Musgrave and Pablo A. Tarazaga, "Skin friction drag reduction in turbulent flow using spanwise traveling surface waves," Proc. SPIE 10164, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2017, 101640L (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 27, 2017; Published: 11 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260295.
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