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The paper compares the influence of different waveforms as input for a dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuator investigated in context of plasma-assisted flow control. The electrical aspects, the plasma morphology, the body force production, and the two-component time-resolved electric wind produced over a single ac period of signal are investigated. Results shown that square waveform is optimal in terms of body force and mean electric wind production, but the velocity fluctuations are enhanced by using a sinusoidal waveform. The time-resolved measurements of the produced velocity demonstrate that the electromechanical conversion mechanism is quasi-linear in the vicinity of the discharge.