The Development of Fast Response Aerodynamic Probes for Flow Measurements in Turbomachinery

[+] Author and Article Information
R. W. Ainsworth, J. L. Allen, J. J. M. Batt

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

J. Turbomach 117(4), 625-634 (Oct 01, 1995) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836581 History: Received February 04, 1994; Online January 29, 2008


The advent of a new generation of transient rotating turbine simulation facilities, where engine values of Reynolds and Mach number are matched simultaneously together with the relevant rotational parameters for dimensional similitude (Dunn et al., 1988; Epstein and Guenette, 1984; Ainsworth et al., 1988), has provided the stimulus for developing improved instrumentation for investigating the aerodynamic flows in these stages. Much useful work has been conducted in the past using hot-wire and laser anemometers. However, hot-wire anemometers are prone to breakage in the high-pressure flows required for correct Reynolds numbers. Furthermore, some laser techniques require a longer run-time than these transient facilities permit, and generally yield velocity information only, giving no data on loss production. Advances in semiconductor aerodynamic probes are beginning to fulfill this perceived need. This paper describes advances made in the design, construction, and testing of two and three-dimensional fast response aerodynamic probes, where semiconductor pressure sensors are mounted directly on the surface of the probes, using techniques that have previously been successfully used on the surface of rotor blades (Ainsworth et al., 1991). These are to be used to measure Mach number and flow direction in compressible unsteady flow regimes. In the first section, a brief review is made of the sensor and associated technology that has been developed to permit a flexible design of fast response aerodynamic probe. Following this, an extensive program of testing large-scale aerodynamic models of candidate geometries for suitable semiconductor scale probes is described, and the results of these discussed. The conclusions of these experiments, conducted for turbine representative mean and unsteady flows, yielded new information for optimizing the design of the small-scale semiconductor probes, in terms of probe geometry, sensor placement, and aerodynamic performance. Details are given of a range of wedge and pyramid semiconductor probes constructed, and the procedures used in calibrating and making measurements with them. Differences in performance are discussed, allowing the experimenter to choose an appropriate probe for the particular measurement required. Finally, the application of prototype semiconductor probes in a transient rotor experiment at HP turbine representative conditions is described, and the data so obtained are compared with CFD solutions of the unsteady viscous flow-field.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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