The present paper is focused on the characterization of the aerodynamics of the nonreacting flow downstream of an innovative Ultra Low NOx (ULN) injection system. The system is aimed at reducing NOx emissions and combustor axial length, to obtain a more compact and lighter low-emission combustor. The flow path downstream of the injection system has been investigated by means of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Hot Wire Anemometry (HWA). Particle Image Velocimetry measurements have been carried out in the meridional plane and in three frontal planes, in order to measure mean velocity components and their fluctuations, as well as to identify the coherent structures that characterize the time-varying flow. Hot Wire Anemometry has been used to investigate the unsteady behavior of the flow and to detect the presence of velocity fluctuation frequencies at different radial and axial positions downstream of the injection system. The HWA technique allowed the identification of the frequencies associated with the precession motion due to the vortex breakdown and with the coherent structures at the interface between the inverse flow region and the jets. The experimental results show a large reverse flow region at the exit, without any back-flow within the injection system, hence offering the evidence that the injection system may be able to stabilize the flame, without inducing risks of flash-back or auto-ignition phenomena. Moreover, the mean velocity distributions show the injection system ability of keeping separated the two jets coming out from the internal and external swirlers, with the consequent possibility of applying fuel-staging.
Furthermore, the experimental results have been compared to CFD RANS calculations and used for the validation of the numerical procedure.