Low-Cost Base Drag Reduction Technique

Mohammed Asadullah, Sher Afghan Khan, Waqar Asrar, Sulaeman.E
Department of Mechanical Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia
Abstract—A simple, low-cost, drag reduction device has been developed for applications in high-speed flows. This low-cost technology is expected to decrease fuel consumption (e.g., for high-speed vehicles such as rockets traveling from a highly overexpanded flow at the sea level to a highly underexpanded flow in outer space). Somewhere in between the over and the underexpansion, the rocket experiences perfectly expanded flows. In this study, only overexpanded and perfectly expanded flows have been considered. A single cylinder with a diameter of 2 mm is rotated clockwise inside the recirculation zone (e.g., in high-speed vehicles) to act as a controller. The base pressure in the dead zone and the wall pressure along the square duct length have been measured with and without control. Experiments were carried out for nozzle pressure ratios (NPRs) of 2, 3, 6 and 7.8. When the cylinder was rotated clockwise as an active controller, the base pressure was found to increase by as much as 56% in the perfectly expanded case and up to 17% in overexpanded flows. This drastic increase in the base pressure is correlated to an equivalent drag reduction. In addition, adding an active control had no negative impact on the main flow field. This is important as any disturbance in the main flow field at high speeds may lead to increased oscillations and vibrations, which if not checked may cause material failures. Rotating the cylinder in the clockwise direction near the wall was found to be very effective for higher NPRs. 

Index Terms—nozzle pressure ratio, Mach number, base pressure, wall pressure, active control

Cite: Mohammed Asadullah, Sher Afghan Khan, Waqar Asrar, Sulaeman.E, "Low-Cost Base Drag Reduction Technique," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 428-432, July 2018. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.7.4.428-432
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