One of the research projects I conduct at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, under the guidance of Professor Noah Hershkowitz and doctoral student Alan Hoskinson, is the characterization of plasma actuators. The above picture shows the experimental setup of this characterization. Plasma is produced by running an oscillating high voltage waveform through an electrode. The plasma produces a downward force which is read by the electrically shielded scale shown in the picture. Discharge power of the plasma actuator is also calculated using LabVIEW software.
I have been studying the effect of electrode geometry and waveform geometry on the force and discharge power. Experiments I have been in charge of include investigating the effects of increasing the height of single barrier discharge exposed and buried electrode, as well as looking at the effects of of sawtooth wave orientation on the force and efficiency of the plasma actuators.