In many studies concerning synthetic jet flow fields the analysis is usually restricted to simple configurations, such as a single diaphragm oscillating in a cylindrical cavity, which is linked to the external environment with only one orifice/slot. Nonetheless, in many applications the requirement of small sizes and weights leads to many implementation issues, such as asymmetric actuator geometries, presence of several slots and diaphragms and irregular cavity shapes. Therefore, the design of a synthetic jet actuator for a specific flow control problem requires a dedicated study in order to characterize its behavior even in quiescent conditions. The aim of this work is to investigate the behavior of a novel synthetic jet actuator, composed of three independent diaphragms, acting on a single cavity, and linked to the external environment through four slots per diaphragm. The device has been studied in quiescent conditions, both numerically and experimentally. The experimental investigation has been carried out by means of hot-wire measurements. In particular, the distribution of the phase-averaged streamwise velocity along the slot spanwise direction has been detected near the slot exit plane. From the computational side, incompressible direct numerical simulations have been carried out using the open-source OpenFOAM code. The diaphragm motion is mimicked by a inhomogeneous inlet boundary condition, whose amplitude is chosen to match the experimental velocity at the exit plane. A fair agreement between the numerical and the experimental results is achieved for both the velocity field at the slot exit and the main non-dimensional parameters of the synthetic jet. After the validation, the numerical results are finally processed, to obtain information about the vortex motion in the external environment.
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