Plasma actuators are promising devices with several possible applications in active flow control field. One of the possible applications of these devices is wake reduction in ground vehicles. By delaying the flow separation and reducing the wake of the flow, these devices allow to reduce the drag which, in turns, leads to important savings in terms of fuel consumption. In the current work, the operation of dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators is studied considering their application for active flow control in ground vehicles. A plasma actuator was fabricated and experimentally characterized in terms of electrical and mechanical features. A ground vehicle model, with different rear slant angles, was constructed and preliminary tests were performed in a wind tunnel. The dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuator was implemented on the top rear part of the model, in the first separation zone of the flow, in order to attach the flow to the surface and reduce the wake flow. The experimental tests were performed for rear slant angles of 30°, 45° and 60°. The different vehicle models were tested for a flow velocity of 5m/s. Flow visualization and velocity measurements were performed in order to analyze the flow behavior and the active flow control effect obtained by the plasma actuation. It is shown that by using plasma actuators on the rear of the model, the plasma actuation pulls the flow toward the surface and reduce the wake of the flow.

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