A modified boundary condition is proposed which does not require alteration to a standard Navier-Stokes solver and which can be used to simulate the effects of Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) plasma actuators. This boundary condition is used to examine the effect of actuator location and freestream velocity on the normal force (per unit span) generated by a DBD actuator operating on one side of a typical sounding rocket fin. A position between 35% and 50% chord is found to produce the largest force over a range of freestream velocities between 10 m/s and 90 m/s. This force increases with increasing speed up to approximately 45 m/s after which it remains relatively constant. Applying this force on a three fin sounding rocket for approxitely 7 s before apogee results in a predicted roll rate of approximately 3 RPM.

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Acta Astronautica
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Sumanik, S. (S.), Etele, J, & Pimentel, R. (R.). (2019). Novel numerical boundary condition for simulating plasma actuator effects on rocket roll rate. Acta Astronautica, 162, 555–562. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.06.036