Jet Mixing Enhancement by High Amplitude Pulse Fluidic Actuation
Wickersham, Paul Brian
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Turbulent mixing enhancement has received a great deal of attention in the fluid mechanics community in the last few decades. Generally speaking, mixing enhancement involves the increased dispersion of the fluid that makes up a flow. The current work focuses on mixing enhancement of an axisymmetric jet via high amplitude fluidic pulses applied at the nozzle exit with high aspect ratio actuator nozzles. The work consists of small scale clean jet experiments, small scale micro-turbine engine experiments, and full scale laboratory simulated core exhaust experiments using actuators designed to fit within the engine nacelle of a full scale aircraft. The small scale clean jet experiments show that mixing enhancement compared to the unforced case is likely due to a combination of mechanisms. The first mechanism is the growth of shear layer instabilities, similar to that which occurs with an acoustically excited jet except that, in this case, the forcing is highly nonlinear. The result of the instability is a frequency bucket with an optimal forcing frequency. The second mechanism is the generation of counter rotating vortex pairs similar to those generated by mechanical tabs. The penetration depth determines the extent to which this mechanism acts. The importance of this mechanism is therefore a function of the pulsing amplitude. The key mixing parameters were found to be the actuator to jet momentum ratio (amplitude) and the pulsing frequency, where the optimal frequency depends on the amplitude. The importance of phase, offset, duty cycle, and geometric configuration were also explored. The experiments on the jet engine and full scale simulated core nozzle demonstrated that pulse fluidic mixing enhancement was effective on realistic flows. The same parameters that were important for the cleaner small scale experiments were found to be important for the more realistic cases as well. This suggests that the same mixing mechanisms are at work. Additional work was done to optimize, in real time, mixing on the small jet engine using an evolution strategy.