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Forced synchronization of quasiperiodic oscillations in a thermoacoustic system

  • Yu Guan (a1), Vikrant Gupta (a2), Minping Wan (a2) and Larry K. B. Li (a1)


In self-excited combustion systems, the application of open-loop forcing is known to be an effective strategy for controlling periodic thermoacoustic oscillations, but it is not known whether and under what conditions such a strategy would work on thermoacoustic oscillations that are not simply periodic. In this study, we experimentally examine the effect of periodic acoustic forcing on a prototypical thermoacoustic system consisting of a ducted laminar premixed flame oscillating quasiperiodically on an ergodic $\mathbb{T}^{2}$ torus at two incommensurate natural frequencies, $f_{1}$ and  $f_{2}$ . Compared with that of a classical period-1 system, complete synchronization of this $\mathbb{T}_{1,2}^{2}$ system is found to occur via a more intricate route involving three sequential steps: as the forcing amplitude, $\unicode[STIX]{x1D716}_{f}$ , increases at a fixed forcing frequency, $f_{f}$ , the system transitions first (i) to ergodic $\mathbb{T}_{1,2,f}^{3}$ quasiperiodicity; then (ii) to resonant $\mathbb{T}_{1,f}^{2}$ quasiperiodicity as the weaker of the two natural modes, $f_{2}$ , synchronizes first, leading to partial synchronization; and finally (iii) to a $P1_{f}$ limit cycle as the remaining natural mode, $f_{1}$ , also synchronizes, leading to complete synchronization. The minimum $\unicode[STIX]{x1D716}_{f}$ required for partial and complete synchronization decreases as $f_{f}$ approaches either $f_{1}$ or $f_{2}$ , resulting in two primary Arnold tongues. However, when forced at an amplitude above that required for complete synchronization, the system can transition out of $P1_{f}$ and into $\mathbb{T}_{1,2,f}^{3}$ or $\mathbb{T}_{2,f}^{2}$ . The optimal control strategy is to apply off-resonance forcing at a frequency around the weaker natural mode ( $f_{2}$ ) and at an amplitude just sufficient to cause $P1_{f}$ , because this produces the largest reduction in thermoacoustic amplitude via asynchronous quenching. Analysis of the Rayleigh index shows that this reduction is physically caused by a disruption of the positive coupling between the unsteady heat release rate of the flame and the $f_{1}$ and $f_{2}$ acoustic modes. If the forcing is applied near the stronger natural mode ( $f_{1}$ ), however, resonant amplification can occur. We then phenomenologically model this $\mathbb{T}_{1,2}^{2}$ thermoacoustic system as two reactively coupled van der Pol oscillators subjected to external sinusoidal forcing, and find that many of its synchronization features – such as the three-step route to $P1_{f}$ , the double Arnold tongues, asynchronous quenching and resonant amplification – can be qualitatively reproduced. This shows that these features are not limited to our particular system, but are universal features of forced self-excited oscillators. This study extends the applicability of open-loop control from classical period-1 systems with just a single time scale to ergodic $\mathbb{T}^{2}$ quasiperiodic systems with two incommensurate time scales.

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Forced synchronization of quasiperiodic oscillations in a thermoacoustic system

  • Yu Guan (a1), Vikrant Gupta (a2), Minping Wan (a2) and Larry K. B. Li (a1)


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