To study the physics of cavitation inception, a ducted propulsor simulation is developed and extensively validated with experimental results. The numerical method is shown to be in good agreement with experimental measurements made in the vortex. The simulation is used as a tool for investigating the minimum pressure, circulation, and axial/tangential velocities in the vortex core. Additionally, the tool is used to study Reynolds number scaling effects of cavitation inception. The simulation reveals that the leakage vortex exhibits little dependence on Reynolds number, while the trailing edge vortex appears to exhibit classical trends. Moreover, the trailing edge, albeit the weaker vortex, appears to be causing inception.

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