The precessing vortex core (PVC) represents a helical-shaped coherent flow structure typically occurring in both reacting and non-reacting swirling flows. Until now the fundamental impact of the PVC on flame dynamics, thermoacoustic instabilities and pollutant emissions is still unclear. In order to identify and investigate these mechanisms, the PVC needs to be controlled effectively with a feedback control system. A previous study successfully applied feedback control in a generic swirling jet setup. The next step is to transfer this approach into a swirl-stabilized combustor, which poses big challenges on the actuator and sensor design and placement. In this paper, different actuator designs are investigated with the goal of controlling the PVC dynamics. The actuation strategy aims to force the flow near the origin of the instability — the so-called wavemaker. To monitor the PVC dynamics, arrays of pressure sensors are flush-mounted at the combustor inlet and the combustion chamber walls. The best sensor placement is evaluated with respect to the prediction of the PVC dynamics. Particle image velocimetry is used to evaluate the passive impact of the actuator shape on the mean flow field. The performance of each actautor design is evaluated from lock-in experiments showing excellent control authority for two out of seven actuators. All measurements are conducted at isothermal conditions in a prototype of a swirl-stabilized combustor.

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