Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 89–99 | Cite as

Measurement of parallel blade–vortex interaction at low Reynolds numbers

  • David Rival
  • Roland Manejev
  • Cam Tropea
Research Article


In this study parallel blade–vortex interaction for a Schmidt-propeller configuration has been examined using particle image velocimetry (PIV). This tandem configuration consists of a leading airfoil (forefoil), used to generate a vortical wake of leading-edge vortices (LEVs) and trailing-edge vortices (TEVs) through a pitching or plunging motion, and a trailing airfoil (hindfoil), held fixed with a specified angle of attack and vertical spacing in its wake. The hindfoil incidence (loading) and not the vertical spacing to the incoming vortical wake has been found to dictate the nature of the interaction (inviscid vs. viscous). For cases where the vortex–blade offset is small and the hindfoil is loaded, vortex distortion and vortex-induced separations are observed. By tracking the circulation of the LEV and TEV, it has been found that the vortices are strengthened for the tandem arrangement and in certain cases dissipate quicker in the wake when interacting with the hindfoil. Time-averaged forces obtained using a standard control-volume analysis are then obtained and used to evaluate these vortex-interaction cases. A subsequent analysis of the varying pressure distribution over the suction side of the hindfoil is performed by integrating the Navier–Stokes equations through the velocity field. This allows for a direct comparison of the vortex-induced loading for the various configurations.


Vortex Particle Image Velocimetry Vortex Interaction Airfoil Surface Unsteady Term 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the national priority program entitled Nature-Inspired Fluid Mechanics (SPP1207, Tr 194/40). The authors would also like to acknowledge the very constructive feedback from the reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Fluid Mechanics and AerodynamicsTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Postdoctoral Associate in Mechanical Engineering at MITDarmstadtGermany

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