Closed-loop bluff-body wake stabilization via fluidic excitation

O. Stalnov, I. Fono, A. Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes an experimental study aimed at stabilizing the wake of a shedding bluff-body by means of closed-loop active flow control at low Reynolds numbers. A D-shaped (6.5 mm thick) cylinder was used to allow a direct wake interaction rather than mixed wake-boundary-layer separation control. The fluidic actuators, installed inside the thin body, were ideally located at the separation locations, i.e., the trailing edges' upper and lower corners. The wake unsteadiness was monitored by a pair of hot wires (HWs), while a single surface-mounted hot-film (HF) sensor was used as a frequency and phase reference for closed-loop control. The HF signal was contaminated by noise. Hence, a technique for real-time tracking of a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) signal was necessary. This was achieved by means of a Phase-Locked Loop (PLL), common in communications systems. The closed-loop scheme was based on real-time measurement of the wake-state, using the surface-mounted HF sensor, and control authority imposed by the fluidic actuators. By using opposition control at frequencies close to the natural vortex shedding frequency (VSF), it was possible to significantly reduce the wake unsteadiness. Applying the same approach, but sensing the wake HW signal, rather than the surface-mounted HF signal, as the controller input did not result in wake stabilization. On the contrary, the unsteadiness increased at all the tested conditions. It is expected that a similar approach would work at much higher Reynolds numbers as well, as long as a clearly identifiable and nominally 2D vortex shedding occurs, even when the background flow is fully turbulent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Actuators
  • Bluff body
  • Closed-loop flow control
  • Flow control
  • Oscillatory vorticity generators
  • Vortex shedding

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Engineering(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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