In a first preferred embodiment for an improved synthetic jet actuator, the orifice shape is altered by either a flap or adjusting the housing walls. If the flap is deployed outward from the wall just above the orifice of a synthetic jet actuator, the synthetic jet flow will be vectored upward, toward the flap. Similarly, if the upper wall forming the orifice is moved outward from the jet chamber interior with respect to an opposing wall forming the orifice, the flow will also vector upward. In the second preferred embodiment of an improved synthetic jet actuator, an opening in addition to the orifice, may be formed in one or more walls of the housing. A louver is aligned with the opening in the housing and permits fluid flow in only one direction, either into the chamber or out of the chamber. When the louver permits fluid flow into the chamber, the jet actuator can operate at high speeds since fluid can enter the chamber through a greater surface area. Another preferred embodiment for an improved synthetic jet actuator comprises two concentric tubular sections normal to an outside surface of a solid body). In operation, the innermost section is connected to a vacuum device and constantly pulls fluid down its length from the ambient fluid above the outer surface. Meanwhile, the outer section ejects fluid into the ambient environment by pulses. Such an operation will cause a synthetic fluid jet to form above the constant suction synthetic jet actuator.