Numerical analysis of propeller induced ground vortices by actuator disk model

Y. Yang*, L. L.M. Veldhuis, G. Eitelberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: During the ground operation of aircraft, the interaction between the propulsor-induced flow field and the ground may lead to the generation of ground vortices. Utilizing numerical approaches, the source of vorticity entering ground vortices is investigated. The results show that the production of wall-parallel components of vorticity has a strong contribution from the wall-parallel components of the pressure gradient on the wall, which is generated by the action of the propulsor. This mechanism is a supplementation for the vorticity transported from the far-field boundary layer, which has been assumed the main vorticity source in a number of previous publications. Furthermore, the quantitative prediction of the occurrence of ground vortices is performed from the numerical results. As the distance of the propeller form the ground decreases, and as the thrust of the propeller increases, ground vortices are generated from the ground and enter the propeller. In addition, the vortices which exist near the ground but does not enter the propeller plane are observed and visualized by three-dimensional data. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Visualization
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sep 2017


  • Actuator disk
  • Ground vortex
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Propeller aerodynamics
  • Vorticity source


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