Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Sally P Bane

Committee Member 1

John P Sullivan

Committee Member 2

Pavlos Vlachos


There has been an increased interest in the use of flow control in aerodynamics and combustion to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Plasma flow control is one way by using active flow control affect these desired changes. Spark plasma actuators have capabilities of inducing heat and momentum to the flow field. The flow field generated by this plasma induces complex pressure and temperature gradients that lead to the development of complex flow structures. The experiment described in this research is particularly difficult due to its small scale, and the dynamic range of velocities that are induced by the flow field. This flow field is yet to be quantified by previous research. The flow field generated by spark plasma has not been quantified to date. The development of a set-up to capture and process preliminary findings of the flow field generated by a spark plasma under quiescent conditions is imperative to understanding the capabilities of this plasma actuator.