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Active control of laminar-turbulent transition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2006

H. W. Liepmann
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, U.S.A.
D. M. Nosenchuck
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, U.S.A.


Instability waves, commonly called T-S waves, can be introduced in a laminar boundary layer by periodic heating of flush-mounted heating elements. Experiments have demonstrated that nearly complete cancellation of a T-S wave excited in this way can be achieved by using a second downstream heating element with a suitable phase shift. As one application of the technique, a single element together with a feedback loop activated by measured wall shear stress has been used to reduce the amplitude of naturally occurring laminar instability waves. A significant increase in the transition Reynolds number has been achieved.

Research Article
© 1982 Cambridge University Press

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Liepmann, H. W., Brown, G. L. & Nosenchuck, D. M. 1982 Control of laminar instability waves using a new technique. J. Fluid Mech. 118, 187200.Google Scholar