The unsteady flow field of an annular turbine rotor was investigated experimentally using a laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) system. Detailed measurements of the time-averaged and time-resolved distributions of the velocity, flow angle, and turbulence intensity, etc. were carried out at a very low Reynolds number condition, Reout = 3.5 × 104. The data obtained were analyzed from the viewpoints of both an absolute (stationary) frame of reference and a relative (rotating) frame of reference. The effect of the turbine nozzle wake and secondary vortices on the flow field inside the rotor passage was clearly captured. It was found that the nozzle wake and secondary vortices are suddenly distorted at the rotor inlet, because of the rotating potential field of the rotor. The nozzle flow (wake and passage vortices) and the rotor flow (boundary layer, wake, tip leakage vortex, and passage vortices) interact intensively inside the rotor passage.

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