Effects of pulse polarity on nanosecond pulse driven dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators

Robyn A. Dawson, Jesse Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Nanosecond pulse driven dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators are studied in quiescent air using a power supply capable of producing negative and positive polarity waveforms. High voltage pulses are applied to the exposed electrode of typical asymmetric actuator geometry. In addition to polarity, the effects of pulse amplitude, actuator length, and dielectric thickness are also investigated. Schlieren images are used to estimate the relative near surface gas heating, while electrical measurements are acquired simultaneously. Negative polarity pulses develop slightly more energy per unit length for thin dielectrics, while positive polarity is slightly higher for thick dielectrics. In most cases, the difference in per unit length energy produced by positive and negative pulses on equivalent actuators is not outside the measurement uncertainty. Negative polarity pulses are found to produce a stronger pressure wave for a given peak voltage and pulse energy across the test matrix. Results indicate that the negative polarity pulse more efficiently couples electrical energy to the near surface gas as heat. This suggests negative polarity pulses may be preferred for aerodynamic flow control applications employing this actuator arrangement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043306
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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