Boundary-layer separation can be prevented or delayed by sucking part of the boundary layer into the surface, but in a straightforward application the required hydraulics entail significant penalties in terms of weight and cost. By means of computational techniques, this paper explores the possibility of autogenous suction, in which the local pressure differences that lead to separation drive the suction used to prevent it. The chosen examples include steady and unsteady laminar flows around leading edges of thin airfoils. No fundamental theoretical limit to autogenous suction was found in the range of angles of attack that could be studied, but rapidly increasing suction volumes suggest that practical application will become increasingly difficult for more severe adverse pressure gradients.

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