An experimental investigation was conducted in order to understand the ability of plasma actuators to operate in three different modes: flow control, ice formation detection and ice accumulation prevention. When plasma actuators are operated with voltage levels, above the breakdown voltage, a plasma discharge surface is generated and with that, an ionic wind is produced. By using this phenomena, plasma actuators may be used to manipulate flow fields and control adjacent flows to the surface in which they are applied. However, a big part of the power applied to the device is dissipated as heat. Due to heat dissipation, the actuator surface temperature rises and the adjacent air is heated. Considering this, actuators may operate as ice prevention devices by heating the surface where they are applied and preventing the ice formation and accumulation. On the other hand, plasma actuators present a behavior similar to a capacitor and they may operate as a capacitive sensor. In the presence of water or ice on the top of the surface, the electric field changes and with that, several plasma actuator electrical features change as well. By monitoring that changes, the presence of water or ice on the top of the surface can be detected and the plasma actuator may be used as an ice sensor device. Therefore, in the present study a plasma actuator was experimentally tested operating in these three different operation modes and its feasibility to perform these different tasks is shown.

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