A dielectric-barrier discharge plasma actuator (DBDPA) is a promising flow control device that can prevent flow separation around an airfoil using electrical discharges. Miniaturizing the DBDPA power supply remains a crucial technological challenge because its size and weight determine the performance of fluid devices equipped with this type of actuator. In this study, we propose a compact high-voltage AC power supply for a DBDPA intended for installation on small airplanes, including unmanned aerial vehicles. The power supply, which consists of a power supply board, a main control board, and a DC/AC converter board, is ∼110 g in weight. It can drive a 300-mm long DBDPA without any substantial voltage drop. The power consumption in standby remains below 1 W, and the maximum consumption during discharge in burst mode at a burst ratio of 5% is 24 W. The power supply uses a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 1800 mA h, which allows continuous DBDPA operation for ∼1.5 h. An experiment was conducted in a wind tunnel using an airfoil model whose cross-section corresponds to that of an airfoil from a commercial glider airplane. Experimental results reveal that the surface pressure around the airfoil is modified by DBDPA operation, clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of the developed power supply for operating a DBDPA as a flow control device. The size and weight of the proposed power supply can be established as a benchmark to further miniaturize and optimize DBDPA power supplies.
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