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An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Swirling Flows in a Rectangular Nozzle


Sobota, Thomas Henry (1987) An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Swirling Flows in a Rectangular Nozzle. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/dw4x-ex64.


The high thrust to weight ratios now possible for military aircraft have made thrust vector pitch control more attractive and versatile than aerodynamic surface pitch control. Use of a rectangular nozzle is a natural consequence because articulation and sealing problems are less formidable than for conventional circular nozzles. The rectangular nozzle offers the additional possibility that the exhaust may mix rapidly with the ambient air and thereby reduce the radiative signature of the exhaust. Some previous investigations have suggested that a series of axial vortices may form in the nozzle, as a result of residual swirl from the gas turbine exhaust, and further enhance the mixing rate.

A detailed experimental investigation is described in this thesis which demonstrates that the formation of axial vortices in the nozzle is dependant on the vorticity distribution at the turbine exhaust. Further, three mechanisms which provide for the formation of axial vortices are identified.

A parallel computational investigation was carried out which not only confirmed the relationship between the turbine exhaust vorticity and the vortex patterns formed in the nozzle but also provided details of the flow field between the turbine discharge and the nozzle exit. On the basis of this more detailed understanding, it is now possible to "tailor" the vortex distribution at the nozzle exit by design of the turbine discharge and the intervening passage.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Marble, Frank E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Marble, Frank E. (chair)
  • Zukoski, Edward E.
  • Sabersky, Rolf H.
  • Kubota, Toshi
  • Cohen, Donald S.
Defense Date:10 April 1987
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-03052008-091015
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:881
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:14 Mar 2008
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:57

Thesis Files

PDF (Sobota_th_1987.pdf) - Final Version
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