Characterisation and aerodynamic impact of leading-edge vortices on propeller blades

Abstract : This thesis deals with the aerodynamic properties of propeller blades. Those blades are designed to maximise cruise efficiency, while achieving the target thrust at take-off. Their thin, low-cambered profiles must work at high incidence at take-off, which may give rise to a leading-edge vortex (LEV).The topology of this LEV looks similar to Delta wing LEVs, which are known to generate vortex lift.the aim of this study is to explore the probable impact of the LEV on lift at take-off in order to reconsider propeller blade designs. The approach first consisted in caracterising the LEV topology on a model blade representative of an Open Rotor front blade, using both Time-Resolved PIV and RANS k-omega SST calculations. The comparison between both methods demonstrated the ability of RANS calculations to reproduce the LEV characteristics of interest to this study.Then, the LEV contribution to lift was evaluated thanks to an algorithm developed to estimate vortex lift contribution from RANS wall pressure fields.In order to explicit the influence of the blade's geometrical and functioning parameters on vortex lift, a 1D vortex lift model was developed and coupled to the Blade Element Momentum Theory.The first blade geometry comparative studies at iso-thrust showed that vortex lift enables to generate target thrust at take-off with a lower blade surface. This opens new perspectives for the design of blade geometries with enhanced cruise efficiency.
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Ye-Bonne Koyama. Characterisation and aerodynamic impact of leading-edge vortices on propeller blades. Mechanics of the fluids [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX021⟩. ⟨tel-01789087⟩

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