This two-part paper presents the unsteady flow interactions between an engine-representative high-pressure turbine (HPT) and low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage, connected by a turbine center frame (TCF) duct with non-turning struts. The setup was tested at the high-speed two-spool test turbine facility at the Institute for Thermal Turbomachinery and Machine Dynamics at Graz University of Technology and includes relevant purge and turbine rotor tip leakage flows. Due to the complexity of such a test, the unsteady component interactions in an HPT-TCF-LPT module have not received much attention in the past and require additional analysis to determine new approaches for further performance improvements on the system level. The flow downstream of an HPT is highly unsteady and dominated by statorrotor interactions, which affect the flow behavior through the downstream TCF and LPT. To capture the unsteady flow structures, time-resolved aerodynamic measurements were carried out with a fast-response aerodynamic pressure probe (FRAPP) at three different measurement planes. In this first part of the paper, the time-resolved and phase-averaged flow fields with respect to the HPT and LPT trigger are studied. Since the two rotors are uncorrelated, the applied method allows the identification of the flow structures induced by either of them. Upstream of the LPT stage, the HPT flow structures evolving through the TCF duct dominate the flow fields. Downstream of the LPT stage, the flow is affected by both the HPT and the LPT secondary flow structures. The interactions between the various stator rows and the two rotors are detected by means of time-space plots and modal decomposition. To describe the fluctuations induced by both rotors, particularly the rotor-rotor interaction, the Rotor Synchronic Averaging (RSA) is used to analyze the flow field downstream of the LPT. The second part of the paper decomposes the flow fields to gain additional insight into the rotor-rotor interactions using the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) and RSA methods. The paper highlights the need to account for the HPT-induced unsteady mechanisms in addition to the LPT flow structures and the interaction of both to arrive at improved LPT designs.

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