Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

July 1998


Copyright (1998) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. Reprinted in Physics of Fluids, Volume 10, Issue 7, July 1998, pages 1597-1610.
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The feasibility of controlling flow patterns of Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a fluid layer confined in a circular cylinder heated from below and cooled from above (the Rayleigh-Bénard problem) is investigated numerically. It is demonstrated that, through the use of feedback control, it is possible to stabilize the no-motion (conductive) state, thereby postponing the transition from a no-motion state to cellular convection. The control system utilizes multiple sensors and actuators. The actuators consist of individually controlled heaters positioned on the bottom surface of the cylinder. The sensors are installed at the fluid's midheight. The sensors monitor the deviation of the fluid's temperatures from preset desired values and direct the actuators to act in such a way so as to eliminate these deviations. The numerical predictions are critically compared with experimental observations.


Rayleigh-Benard instability, Benard convection, feedback, flow control, sensors, actuators



Date Posted: 24 October 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.