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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Postswirl Maneuvering Propulsor

[+] Author and Article Information
Stephen A. Huyer

Naval Undersea Warfare Center,
Newport, RI 02841
e-mail: stephen.huyer@navy.mil

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 26, 2014; final manuscript received November 21, 2014; published online January 13, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Bart van Esch. This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Fluids Eng 137(4), 041104 (Apr 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: FE-14-1100; doi: 10.1115/1.4029225 History: Received February 26, 2014; Revised November 21, 2014; Online January 13, 2015

This research examines the novel use of a postswirl propulsor to generate side forces sufficient for undersea vehicle control. Numerical simulations using the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Fluent® were used to predict the side forces for open and ducted, post-swirl propulsors configured with an upstream rotor and movable downstream stator row. By varying the pitch angles of the stator blade about the circumference, it is possible to generate a mean stator side force that can be used to maneuver the vehicle while generating sufficient roll to counter the torque produced by the rotor. A simple geometric configuration was used to minimize body geometry effects to better understand the flow physics with simulations conducted in a water tunnel environment. Flow computations highlighted the component forces and were used to characterize the velocity fields between the rotor and stator blade rows as well as the velocity field in the stator wake. There was significant coupling between the rotor and stator blade rows as demonstrated by the rotor wake velocity profiles. While the flow fields were coupled, there was not a significant difference in rotor axial or side forces except for the largest pitch amplitudes. Predictions showed that the maneuvering propulsor generated side forces predominantly by the stator and body that significantly exceeded those produced by conventional undersea vehicle control surfaces with side force coefficients on the order of 0.5. These forces are approximately three times larger than those generated by conventional control surfaces on 21 in. unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV's). Even for zero flow velocities, side forces were produced due to the induced flow produced by the rotor over the stator, further demonstrating the potential for this technology to be used for undersea vehicle maneuvering.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Maneuvering propulsor concept

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Fig. 2

CFD predictions of the total (rotor, stator, and body) force and moment coefficients for a baseline open and ducted propulsor

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Fig. 3

Post-MP geometry; all dimensions in cm

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Fig. 4

Axial and side force iterative convergence

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Fig. 5

Unsteady axial and side force coefficients taken over four propulsor rotations with comparisons to steady state predictions

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Fig. 6

Post-MP surface meshes

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Fig. 7

Cross section of the volume mesh taken between the rotor and stator blade rows and close-up view highlighting the structured mesh.

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Fig. 8

Post-MP performance curves

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Fig. 9

Surface pressure distributions for the open and ducted post-MP configurations for A = 9 deg and J = 1.4

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Fig. 10

Axial velocity contour plot midway between the rotor and stator blade rows for A = 9 deg and J = 1.4 for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 11

Axial velocity contour plot immediately aft of the stator blade row for A = 9 deg and J = 1.4 for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 12

Tangential velocity contour plot midway between the rotor and stator blade rows for A = 9 deg and J = 1.4 for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 13

Tangential velocity contour plot immediately aft of the stator blade row for A = 9 deg and J = 1.4 for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 14

Post-MP axial force coefficients as a function of pitch amplitude for J = 1.43

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Fig. 15

Post-MP normal (y) force coefficients as a function of pitch amplitude for J = 1.43

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Fig. 16

Post-MP orthogonal (z) force coefficients as a function of pitch amplitude for J = 1.43

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Fig. 17

Axial velocity contour plot midway between the rotor and stator blade rows for A = 9 deg, zero freestream velocity (Bollard condition), and 1500 rpm rotational velocity for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 18

Axial velocity contour plot midway aft of the stator blade row for A = 9 deg, zero freestream velocity (Bollard pull), and 1500 rpm rotational velocity for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 19

Axial velocity contour plot in the x-y plane for A = 9 deg, zero freestream velocity (Bollard pull), and 1500 rpm rotational velocity for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 20

Axial velocity contour plot in the x-z plane for A = 9 deg, zero freestream velocity (Bollard pull), and 1500 rpm rotational velocity for the open and ducted configurations

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Fig. 21

Post-MP normal (y) force coefficients as a function of advance ratio (J) for A = 9 deg and 1500 rpm rotational velocity

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Fig. 22

Post-MP axial forces (N) as a function of flow velocity (m/s) for A = 9 deg and 1500 rpm rotational velocity

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Fig. 23

Post-MP normal (y) and side (z) forces (N) as a function of flow velocity (m/s) for A = 9 deg and 1500 rpm rotational velocity

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