The formation and evolution of flow structures due to the interaction of a finite-span synthetic jet with a zero-pressure gradient laminar boundary layer were experimentally investigated using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry. A synthetic jet with three orifice aspect ratios of AR = 6, 12, and 18 was issued into a free-stream velocity of U = 10 m/s (Reδ = 2000) at blowing ratios of Cb = 0.5–1.5. The interaction was found to be associated with two sets of flow structures: (1) a recirculation region downstream of the orifice due to virtual blockage, and (2) a steady streamwise vortex pair farther downstream. These two flow structures were characterized in detail. Tube-like velocity deficits in the free-stream were evident, as well as regions of increased velocity within the boundary layer. Reducing the aspect ratio of the orifice decreased the spacing of the edgewise vortices (generated due to the finite span of the orifice) as well as reducing the virtual blockage of the jet. A control volume analysis of the fluid streamwise momentum indicates that there is a momentum deficit just downstream of the jet orifice and the change in streamwise momentum is proportionally similar for all cases.

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