A split-fiber probe was used to acquire unsteady data in a research compressor. The probe has two thin films deposited on a quartz cylinder 200 μm in diameter. A split-fiber probe allows simultaneous measurement of velocity magnitude and direction in a plane that is perpendicular to the sensing cylinder, because it has its circumference divided into two independent parts. Local heat transfer considerations indicated that the probe direction characteristic is linear in the range of flow incidence angles of ±35 dg. Calibration tests confirmed this assumption. Of course, the velocity characteristic is nonlinear as is typical in thermal anemometry. The probe was used extensively in the NASA GRC low-speed, multistage axial compressor, and worked reliably during a test program of several months duration. The velocity and direction characteristics of the probe showed only minute changes during the entire test program. An algorithm was developed to decompose the probe signals into velocity magnitude and velocity direction. The averaged unsteady data were compared with data acquired by pneumatic probes. An overall excellent agreement between the averaged data acquired by a split-fiber probe and a pneumatic probe boosts confidence in the reliability of the unsteady content of the split-fiber probe data. To investigate the features of unsteady data, two methods were used: ensemble averaging and frequency analysis. The velocity distribution in a rotor blade passage was retrieved using the ensemble averaging method. Frequencies of excitation forces that may contribute to high cycle fatigue problems were identified by applying a fast Fourier transform to the absolute velocity data.

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