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Developing the dielectric barrier discharge surface plasma actuators to improve the aerodynamics and aeroacoustics performances of aerofoil

In the aerospace industry, great emphasis is always placed on the lifting components to achieve high-lift, low-drag and low-noise performances. This PhD project concerns a 36-month experimental study into the application of surface plasma actuators as an active boundary layer and wake control technique with the aim of reducing the drag and self-noise of aerofoil radiated from the leading edge and trailing edge. Several configurations, but not limited to, can be investigated in this PhD programme: (1) an aerofoil with blunt trailing edge – which characteristically combines a superior lift performance with high drag and significant tone noise radiation; (2) an aerofoil with a sharp trailing edge – which typically produces broadband self-noise in high Reynolds number flow; (3) an aerofoil with inflow turbulence - which typically will generate an acoustic field that is dominated by the turbulence-leading edge interaction noise.

The main technology under investigation here is the relatively new, though rapidly expanding, surface plasma actuators. The usage of surface plasma actuators for flow control is very attractive for industrial applications because this technique is highly energy-efficient, has a fast response, a simple structure, can be used for both steady and unsteady actuations and creates no profile drag when not in operation. The proposed research aims to simultaneously optimise the aerodynamical and aeroacoustical performances of Aerofoil with blunt as well as sharp trailing edges. The expected outcome of this research is an extensive validation of the effectiveness of surface plasma actuators as a relatively novel technique for the reduction of drag and noise generated by aircraft components such as the turbofan engine, airframe and the propeller blades of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The outcome of this research is also transferable to the wind turbine industry and fan-based home appliance sector.

This project is mainly experimental-based, but numerical simulation can also be considered. The aeroacoustics and flow measurements will be conducted at the Brunel high-quality aeroacoustics wind tunnel. The potential PhD candidate will receive support from the supervisor teams, and all friendly members of the project team. We expect the candidate to have some basic knowledge of fluids mechanics and aerodynamics. Experience in aeroacoustics measurement is not essential, as training will be provided.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Tze Pei Chong of Brunel University at t.p.chong@brunel.ac.uk / Tel: (44) 1895 266 370.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.