Two NACA0012 vanes at various lateral offsets were investigated by wind tunnel testing to observe the interactions between the streamwise vortices. The vanes were separated by nine chord lengths in the streamwise direction to allow the upstream vortex to impact on the downstream geometry. These vanes were evaluated at an angle of incidence of 8° and a Reynolds number of 7 x 104 using particle image velocimetry. A helical motion of the vortices was observed, with rotational rate increasing as the offset was reduced to the point of vortex merging. Downstream meandering of the weaker vortex was found to increase in magnitude near the point of vortex merging. The merging process occurred more rapidly when the upstream vortex was passed on the pressure side of the vane, with the downstream vortexbeing produced with less circulation and consequently merging into the upstream vortex. The merging distance was found to be statistical rather than deterministic quantity, indicating that the meandering of the vortices affected their separations and energies. This resulted in a fluctuation of the merging location. A loss of circulation associated with the merging process was identified, with the process of achieving vortex circularity causing vorticity diffusion, however all merged cases maintained higher circulation than a single vortex condition. The presence of the upstream vortex was found to reduce the strength of the downstream vortex in all offsets evaluated.


Aerospace Engineering

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