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Applications of Circulation Control, Yesterday and Today

Author(s): Jonathan Kweder | Chad C. Panthe | James E. Smit

Journal: International Journal of Engineering
ISSN 1985-2312

Volume: 4;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 411;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Circulation Control | Lift Augmentation | Drag Reduction

Circulation control, an aerodynamic method of changing the properties of an airfoil, such as lift, camber and angle of attack, has been used in several unique ways since its inception, as an enhancement to fixed wing aircraft, in the 1960’s. Early in the research venture, this technology was used on the main wing of an aircraft in conjunction with a Coandă surface, such as a rounded trailing edge or a deployable flap. Research during this time proved to be the foundation of the circulation control technology and showed that small amounts of exit jet velocity could have a large impact on the aerodynamics of an airfoil. In the 1970’s the inspirations that drove circulation control research changed from design work to optimization of the parameters which were found to have the most effect on circulation control. These studies included slot placement, favorable momentum coefficient, and pressurization benefits and determents. This research period also allowed for expansion of the uses of circulation control to submarine/hydrodynamic and rotary wing applications. Newest research has brought on several propeller driven applications and the recent push for efficient renewable research has allowed circulation control research technologies to evolve into use in wind turbine and water turbine applications. The idea being that with circulation control the turbine can adapt easier to the changing wind velocity and direction and ultimately capture more power than an un-augmented turbine. As with most new and novel technologies there is a process and time delay associated with their development and ultimate application. For some technologies the market, or the supporting hardware, are lacking and sometimes the technology has strong advocacies for yet to be fulfilled expectations. In most of these cases a strong idea will re-surface repeatedly until the art has matured, or the better solution is found. This paper will focus on the previously developed circulation control research, from its beginnings, as used on fixed wing aircraft, following the progression, as this technology evolved through the past five decades, to its now more widely considered potential.
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