Microscale plasma actuators for improved thrust density
Abstract
We present a study of the dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma actuators for microscale applications. Traditional macroscale DBD actuators suffer from relatively small actuation effect as characterized by small induced force density and resulting flow velocity. As a remedy we propose microscale plasma actuators that may induce orders of magnitude higher force density. We study the physics of such actuation using a multiscale ionized gas flow code based on the highfidelity finiteelement procedure. First, a twodimensional volume discharge with nitrogen as a working gas is investigated using a firstprinciples approach solving coupled system of hydrodynamic plasma equations and Poisson equation for ion density, electron density, and electric field distribution. The quasineutral plasma and the sheath regions are identified. As the gap between electrodes is reduced, the sheath structure dominates the plasma region. Second, we simulate a first generation plasma micropump. We solve multiscale plasmagas interaction inside a twodimensional cross section of the microscale pump geometry. The result shows that a reasonable mass flow rate can be pumped using a set of small active electrodes.
 Publication:

Journal of Applied Physics
 Pub Date:
 July 2009
 DOI:
 10.1063/1.3160304
 Bibcode:
 2009JAP...106a3310W
 Keywords:

 52.80.s;
 52.25.Fi;
 52.30.q;
 47.65.d;
 47.11.Fg;
 52.65.y;
 52.40.Kh;
 Electric discharges;
 Transport properties;
 Plasma dynamics and flow;
 Magnetohydrodynamics and electrohydrodynamics;
 Finite element methods;
 Plasma simulation;
 Plasma sheaths