This paper describes a method of evaluation of the single and multistage compressors response to steady and unsteady inlet distortions. It allows also the evaluation of the appearance of unstable regimes and their characterization (rotating stall and surge). It is based on a linearized approach using mean line calculations. The compressor is considered as a series of vaned and vaneless spaces, and the corresponding equations are solved by use of Fourier series for time independent variables and by Laplace’s transform for time-dependent variables. An analogy between the compressor’s response and a servo-mechanism is developed, using Nyquist’s diagram. Results are compared with experimental data which prove the validity of the approach. A parametric study indicates which parameters can be modified to improve the flow stability.

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