Measurement of passage shock strength in a transonic compressor rotor using a gas fluorescent technique revealed an unexpected variation in shock strength in the radial direction. An axisymmetric idealization would normally predict that the passage shock strength would gradually weaken when moving radially inward until disappearing at the sonic radius. However, the measurements indicated a sharp peak in strength at the nominal sonic radius. Blade boundary layer separation originating at this point accounts for about one half of the total rotor losses. A numerical computation of the three-dimensional inviscid flow, using time-marching techniques, has accurately predicted in general the radial and tangential variations in passage shock strength and in particular the sharp pressure peak at the nominal sonic radius. The overall shock strength was somewhat over-predicted, but this overprediction may be the result of boundary layer separation in the experiment. This paper presents comparisons between the optical density measurements and computational results and in addition a short analytical discussion which demonstrates that the sharp shock strength rise may occur in many transonic compressor rotors.

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