Review of flow control mechanisms of leading-edge vortices

I Gursul, Z Wang, E Vardaki

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Vortex control concepts employed for slender and nonslender delta wings were reviewed. Important aspects of flow control include flow separation, vortex formation, flow reattachment, vortex breakdown, and vortex instabilities. The occurrence and relative importance of these phenomena strongly depend on the wing sweep angle. Various flow control methods were discussed: multiple vortices, control surfaces, blowing and suction, low-frequency and high-frequency excitation, feedback control, passive control with wing flexibility, and plasma actuators. For slender delta wings, control of vortex breakdown is achieved by modifications to swirl level and external pressure gradient acting on the vortex core. Effects of flow control methods on these two parameters were discussed, and their effectiveness was compared whenever possible. With the high-frequency excitation of the separated shear layer, reattachment and lift enhancement in the post-stall region is observed, which is orders of magnitude more effective than steady blowing. This effect is more pronounced for nonslender wings. Re-formation of vortices is possible with sufficient amplitude of forcing at the optimum frequency. Passive lift enhancement on flexible wings is due to the self-excited wing vibrations, which occur when the frequency of wing vibrations is close to the frequency of the shear layer instabilities, and promote flow reattachment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-270
Number of pages25
JournalProgress in Aerospace Sciences
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


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