Modifications of Coherent Structures in Fan Blade Wakes for Broadband Noise Reduction

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Virginia Tech


The effects of trailing edge flow control on the wakes of a linear cascade of idealized fan blades was investigated experiments with a view to the likely effects on broadband aircraft engine interaction noise. Single and three-component hotwire velocity measurements were made downstream of the cascade for a chord Reynolds number of 390,000 and a Mach number of 0.07. Measurements of the two-point velocity correlation were used extensively to evaluate the impact of various flow control strategies on the organization of the coherent structures of the wakes and their potential to generate noise.

A baseline flow was established by measuring the wake downstream of unmodified GE-Rotor-B blades. Four sets of serrated trailing edge blades (with two different serration sizes and with two trailing edge cambers) and three sets of blades with trailing edge blowing (a simple rectangular slot, rectangular slot with Kuethe-vane vortex generators, and rectangular slot with serrated lips) were tested.

The serrated trailing edges introduce corrugations into the wake, increase the wake decay and width as well as turbulence levels (possibly because of the blunt trailing edge created at the serration valley). The serrated trailing edges also increase the turbulence scales in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the wake because of the injection of streamwise vorticity. In almost all cases the serrations reduce the spanwise and streamwise turbulence scales. Serrations do not, however, affect the apparent time scale of quasi-periodic structures in the wake, and this appears to limit the potential of this trailing edge treatment to reduce broadband noise. The analysis of the characteristic eddies (obtained from proper orthogonal decomposition combined with linear estimation) revealed that the serrations do not change the qualitative form of the eddies.

Trailing edge blowing was found to significantly decrease the wake deficit and width as well as the turbulence levels at all blowing rates. Blowing through the simple rectangular slot, at mass flow rates between 1.4 and 2.0% of the total passage through flow, was shown to significantly affect the size, the organization and the strength of the coherent structures. For small blowing rates the strong spanwise eddies near the trailing edge actually appear to be enhanced. For larger blowing rates, however, the turbulent scales are reduced in all directions. The addition of Kuethe vanes on the suction side of the blowing blade results in a low momentum region just downstream of the vanes that may result from flow separation there. This further enhances the shedding and increases the blowing rate needed to overcome it. The serrated blowing blades show the greatest potential to reduce broadband noise as they reduce the turbulence levels and scales without creating potentially detrimental structures.

While no acoustic measurements were made, analysis of hypothetical perpendicular and parallel interactions of blades with these wakes has made possible to characterize for the first time the impact of the changes in the eddy structure of these wakes on their potential to generate broadband noise. The serrated trailing edges (especially the larger serrations) actually increase the potential of the wake to generate broadband noise (a direct consequence in the overall increase in turbulence scale and intensity). In contrast, every trailing edge blowing configuration was found to produce large reductions in the potential noise (a maximum of 6dB reduction was obtained at 2.0% blowing). The addition of Kuethe vanes on the suction side of the blowing blades significantly reduced the efficiency of the simple blowing configuration (a result of the increased coherency associated with the shedding of streamwise vorticity by the vanes). The serrated blowing configuration was found to yield reductions similar to the simple blowing configuration.



Turbulence, Coherent Structures, Aircraft Engine, Fan, Broadband, Noise, Rotor-stator interaction, Serrated, Trailing Edge, Blowing.