We report the research progress made in our research efforts to utilize the thermal effects induced by DBD plasma actuation to suppress dynamic ice accretion over the surface of an airfoil/wing model for aircraft icing mitigation. While the fundamental mechanism of thermal energy generation in DBD plasma discharges were introduced briefly, the significant differences in the working mechanisms of the plasma-based surface heating approach from those of conventional resistive electric heating methods were highlighted for aircraft anti−/de-icing applications. By leveraging the unique Icing Research Tunnel available at Iowa State University (i.e., ISU-IRT), a comprehensive experimental campaign was conducted to quantify the thermodynamic characteristics of a DBD plasma actuator exposed to frozen cold incoming airflow coupled with significant convective heat transfer. By embedding a DBD plasma actuator and a conventional electrical film heater on the surface of the same airfoil/wing model, a comprehensive experimental campaign was conducted to provide a side-by-side comparison between the DBD plasma-based approach and conventional resistive electrical heating method in preventing ice accretion over the airfoil surface. The experimental results clearly reveal that, with the same power consumption level, the DBD plasma actuator was found to have a noticeably better performance to suppress ice accretion over the airfoil surface, in comparison to the conventional electrical film heater. A duty-cycle modulation concept was adopted to further enhance the plasma-induced thermal effects for improved anti−/de-icing performance. The findings derived from the present study could be used to explore/optimize design paradigm for the development of novel plasma-based anti−/de-icing strategies tailored specifically for aircraft icing mitigation.
Part of the book: Plasma Science and Technology