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We propose a cluster-based control strategy for feedback control of post-stall separated flows over an airfoil. The present approach partitions the flow trajectories (force measurements) into clusters, which correspond to characteristic coarse-grained phases in a low-dimensional feature space. A feedback control law (using blowing/suction actuation) is then sought for each cluster state through iterative evaluation and downhill simplex search to minimize power consumption in aerodynamic flight. The optimized control laws re-route the flow trajectories to the aerodynamically favourable regions in the feature space in a model-free manner. Utilizing a limited number of sensor measurements for both clustering and optimization, these feedback laws were determined in only
iterations. The objective of the present work is not necessarily to suppress flow separation but to minimize the desired cost function to achieve enhanced aerodynamic performance. The present approach is applied to the control of two- and three-dimensional separated flows over a NACA 0012 airfoil in large-eddy simulations at an angle of attack of
, Reynolds number
and free-stream Mach number
. The optimized control laws avoid the intermittent occurrence of long-period shedding associated with high-drag clusters, thus lowering the mean drag. The present work aims to address some of the challenges associated with feedback control design for turbulent separated flows at moderate Reynolds number.