The Case of the Singing Vortex

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Maines

Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, Fort Worth, TX

R. E. A. Arndt

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

J. Fluids Eng 119(2), 271-276 (Jun 01, 1997) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2819130 History: Received March 06, 1996; Revised January 07, 1997; Online December 04, 2007


A relatively high amplitude, discrete tone is radiated from fully developed tip vortex cavitation under certain conditions. The phenomenon of the “singing vortex” was first reported by Higuchi et al. (1989). This study more closely examines the singing phenomenon by varying the hydrofoil cross-section, scale, angle of attack, water quality, and cavitation number in two different facilities. Noise data were collected for each condition with visual documentation using both still photography and high speed video in an effort to explain the mechanism of vortex singing. The theory of Kelvin (1880) provides a framework for correlating all the data obtained.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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