High-resolution turbofan intake flow characterization by automated stereoscopic-PIV in an industrial wind tunnel environment

Kushal U. Kempaiah*, Tommaso Piovesan, Pavlos K. Zachos, Dirk Michaelis, Roy Gebbink, Bart van Rooijen, Daniel Gil Prieto, David MacManus, Andrea Sciacchitano, Christopher Sheaf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Unsteady inlet flow distortion can influence the stability and performance of any propulsion system, in particular for more novel, short and slim intakes of future aero-engine configurations. As such, the requirement for measurement methods able to provide high spatial resolution data is important to aid the understanding of these flow fields. This work presents flow field characterisations at a crossflow plane within a short aeroengine intake using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV). A series of tests were conducted across a range of crosswind and high angle of attack conditions for a representative short and slim aspirated intake configuration at two operating points in terms of mass flow rate. The velocity maps were measured at a crossflow plane within the intake at an axial position L/D = 0.058 from where a fan is expected to be installed. The diameter of the measurement plane was 250 mm, and the final spatial resolution of the velocity fields had a vector pitch of 1.5 mm which is at least two orders of magnitude richer than conventional pressure-based distortion measurements. The work demonstrates the ability to perform robust non-intrusive flow measurements within modern intake systems in an industrial wind tunnel environment across a wide range of operating conditions; hence, it is suggested that SPIV can potentially become part of standard industrial testing. The results provide rich datasets that can notably improve our understanding of unsteady distortions and influence the design of novel, closely coupled engine-intake systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025210
Number of pages15
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • industrial wind tunnel testing
  • inlet distortion
  • inlet testing
  • non-intrusive measurements
  • particle image velocimetry
  • turbofan
  • ultra high bypass ration engines


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