Acoustic and Thermoacoustic Jet Propulsion

Document Type : Regular Article


1 Center for Engineering, Modeling and Applied Social Sciences, Federal University of ABC, Av. dos Estados 5001, bairro Bangú, Santo André, SP CEP 09210-580 Brazil

2 Combustion and Propulsion Laboratory, National Institute for Space Research, Rodovia Presidente Dutra, km 40, Cachoeira Paulista, SP, CEP 12630-970, Brazil

3 Center for Natural and Human Sciences, Federal University of ABC, Av. dos Estados 5001, bairro Bangú, Santo André, SP CEP 09210-580 Brazil (Current address: SBND Laboratory, Neutrino Division – Fermilab – Batavia, IL 60510 USA)



This manuscript bridges the fields of jet propulsion, synthetic jets and thermoacoustic engines. We introduce the case that synthetic jets in air can be considered a consistent approach for propulsion systems. To date, studies on synthetic jet propulsion have been scattered and rather subsidiary. Furthermore, investigating the perspective of propulsion can provide new insights into the field of synthetic jets and the physics of propulsion. In this work, synthetic jet propulsion in air is demonstrated and studied for acoustic and thermoacoustic cases. We developed synthetic jet systems and characterized the resulting propulsion regarding several relevant parameters such as geometric factors and the frequency and power of acoustic jets electromechanically and thermally produced. We demonstrated the 10.4-mN and 2.7-mN thrust in the acoustic and thermoacoustic modes, respectively, using compact tabletop assemblies. The physical mechanism of the jets has been modeled, simulated, verified with Schlieren imaging and laid in the perspective of adherent literature. Similarities and differences regarding traditional jet propulsion systems are discussed. Synthetic jet propulsion in air using a thermal cycle is experimentally demonstrated for the first time.


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