Purdue University Graduate School
Grasa_Sergio_MS_Thesis_final.pdf (3.7 MB)

Design and Optimization of Diffusive Turbine Nozzle Guide Vanes Downstream of a Transonic Rotating Detonation Combustor

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posted on 2023-02-06, 16:04 authored by Sergio Grasa MartinezSergio Grasa Martinez

In rotating detonation engines the turbine inlet conditions may be transonic with unprecedented unsteady fluctuations, very different from those in conventional high-pressure turbines. To ensure an acceptable engine performance, the turbine passages must be unchoked at subsonic and started at supersonic conditions. Additionally, to maximize the aerodynamic performance potential, ad-hoc designs are required, suited for the oscillations in Mach number and flow angle. This manuscript focuses on designing and characterizing diffusive turbine vanes that can operate downstream of a transonic rotating detonation combustor.  

First, the phenomenon of unstarting is presented, concentrating on the effect of pressure loss on the accurate prediction of the starting limit. Afterward, a multi-objective optimization with steady Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes simulations, including the endwall and 3D vane design, is performed. The results are discussed, highlighting the impact of the throat-to-inlet area ratio on the pressure loss and the geometric features of the top-performing designs. Compared to previous  research on stator passages with contoured endwalls, considerable reductions in pressure loss and stator-induced rotor forcing are obtained, with an extended operating range and preserving high turning.  

Subsequently, the influence of the inlet boundary layer thickness on the vane performance is evaluated, inducing remarkable increases in pressure loss and downstream pressure distortion. Employing an optimization with a thicker inlet boundary layer, specific endwall design recommendations are found, providing a notable improvement in both objective functions. The impact of the geometry variations on flow detachment is assessed as well.

Finally, the impact of the inlet flow angle on the vane design is studied through a multi-point, multi-objective optimization with different inlet angles. The effect of incidence on the flow field and vane performance is evaluated first. Then, by comparing the optimized geometries with those optimized for axial inflows, several design guidelines are identified 


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Guillermo Paniagua