Stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements of Swirl Distortion on a Full-Scale Turbofan Engine Inlet
Nelson, Michael Allan
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There is a present need for simulation and measuring the inlet swirl distortion generated by airframe/engine system interactions to identify potential degradation in fan performance and operability in a full-scale, ground testing environment. Efforts are described to address this need by developing and characterizing methods for complex, prescribed distortion patterns. A relevant inlet swirl distortion profile that mimics boundary layer ingesting inlets was generated by a novel new method, dubbed the StreamVane method, and measured in a sub scale tunnel using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) as a precursor for swirl distortion generation and characterization in an operating turbofan research engine. Diagnostic development efforts for the distortion measurements within the research engine paralleled the StreamVane characterization. The system used for research engine PIV measurements is described. Data was obtained in the wake of a total pressure distortion screen for engine conditions at idle and 80% corrected fan speed, and of full-scale StreamVane screen at 50% corrected fan speed. The StreamVane screen was designed to generate a swirl distortion that is representative for hybrid wing body applications and was made of Ultem*9085 using additive manufacturing. Additional improvements to the StreamVane method are also described. Data reduction algorithms are put forth to reduce spurious velocity vectors. Uncertainty estimations specific to the inlet distortion test rig, including bias error due to mechanical vibration, are made. Results indicate that the methods develop may be used to both generate and characterize complex distortion profiles at the aerodynamic interface plane, providing new information about airframe/engine integration.
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