A preliminary 2D numerical investigation of the active control of unsteady cavitation by means of one single synthetic jet actuator (SJA) is presented. The SJA has been applied to hinder the intrinsic instabilities of a cloud cavitating flow of water around a NACA 0015 hydrofoil with an angle of attack of 8° and ambient conditions. It has been placed inside the inception region at a distance of 16% of the chord from the leading edge. Concerning the numerical approach, a Eulerian homogeneous mixture/mass transfer model has been used, in combination with an extended Schnerr-Sauer cavitation model and a Volume of Fluid (VOF) interface tracking method. The synthetic jet has been modeled by means of a user-defined velocity boundary conditions based on a sinusoidal waveform. A sensitivity analysis has been first performed in order to evaluate the influence of the main control parameters, namely the momentum coefficient Cμ, the dimensionless frequency F+ and the jet angle αjet. By combining the cavitating vapor content and the impact on the hydrodynamic performance, the best performing SJA configuration has been retrieved. Then, a deeper analysis of the vapor cavity dynamics and the vorticity field has been conducted in order to understand the modification of the main flow produced by the synthetic jet.
The best SJA configuration was observed at Cμ = 0.0002, F+ = 0.309 and αjet = 90°, which led to a reduction of both the average vapor content and the average torsional load in the measure of 34.6% and 17.8% respectively. A reduction of the average pulsation frequency of the pressure upstream confirmed the beneficial effect of the SJA. The analysis of the coupled dynamics between vapor cavity-vorticity and their POD-based modal structures highlighted that the benefit of the SJA lies on preventing the growth of a thick sheet cavity which tends to cause the development of the highly cavitating cloud dynamics after the cavity breakup. This is mainly due to an additional vorticity close to the hydrofoil surface just downstream the SJA, as well as a local pressure modification close the SJA during the blowing stroke.