We present experimental and theoretical analyses of the response of high-speed, high-Reynolds-number, round jets to impulsive forcing with arc-filament-plasma actuators. The impulse response is obtained with forcing Strouhal numbers, based on the nozzle exit diameter and exit center line velocity, less than 0.1. The resulting phase-averaged near-field pressure signature displays a compact wave with a positive peak preceding a negative one, indicative of a large scale structure in the shear layer of the jet. Scaling laws derived by operating the jet at four subsonic Mach numbers are used to distinguish this hydrodynamic component of the phase-averaged jet response from the direct actuator noise. As the forcing frequency increases, the compact waves in the near-field pressure signal overlap each other, indicating interaction of the growing seeded structures. For this regime, the phase-averaged response is approximately replicated by linear superposition of the impulse response, thereby demonstrating the quasi-linearity of structure interaction. A novel application of linear parabolized stability theory yields a successful model of the impulse response
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