We propose curved fluidic actuators that fit in highly cambered airfoil sections such as the low-pressure turbine blades for active control of flow separation. The simple internal geometry of these type of actuators are robust in design, amenable for 3-D additive fabrication methods and suitable for long continuous operation with minimum maintenance and inspection.
In Phase I, we will determine the limits of permissible curvature for the actuators and the effect of aspect ratio on curvature limits by testing individually fabricated actuators. In addition, a two-dimensional low-pressure turbine blade section with an array of such curved actuators will also be fabricated and bench tested. In Phase II, we plan to conduct wind tunnel tests on such airfoil blades and demonstrate active flow control in the Reynolds number range of relevance to gas turbine technology.
The flow control technology developed in this project will enable NASA GRC to evaluate the technology in its specially designed test rig for suitability for active flow control of turbine blades. The test data will also help in the development of suitable CFD codes and control algorithms for optimization to implement in actual gas turbine engines.
Active control of LPT turbines for both civil and defense aircraft engines as well as land-based gas turbines for power generation. Applications could be extended to other situations such as aircraft wings and wing flaps, engine inlets and fuel booms with significant advantage over planar actuators. Have a high potential for non-aerospace commercial and consumer products other than gas turbines.