During the development phase of an aircraft engine, extensive ground and flight instrumentation testing is performed. The performance of the instrumentation is quantified in terms of Recovery Factor (RF). Experimental data only provide measurement at the sensor location, but no information is available for the flow field taking place in and around the probe.

The scope of the present paper is to numerically investigate the flow field taking place inside and around a three Kiel heads rake. The study will focus on the description of the flow field and aims at highlighting the mechanisms affecting the RF. Each head has an elliptical casing and contains a pressure sensor (pneumatic pressure tap) and a temperature sensor (thermocouple).

Steady-state RANS simulations have been realized for two different Mach numbers (M = 0.30 and M = 0.65), providing a complete mesh and turbulence models sensitivity analysis. The simulated global flow field demonstrated that regardless of the Mach number, the flow topology is very similar in all cases. The Kiel heads investigation highlighted a well guided flow field confirming the sensors’ high performance.

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