The effects of the aft rotor on the inter-rotor flow field of an open rotor propulsion rig (ORPR) were examined. A particle image velocimetry (PIV) dataset that was acquired phase locked to the front rotor position has been phase averaged based on the relative phase angle between the forward and aft rotors. The aft rotor phase was determined by feature tracking in raw PIV images through an image-processing algorithm. The effects of the aft rotor potential field on the inter-rotor flow were analyzed and shown to be in reasonably good agreement with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The aft rotor position was shown to have a significant upstream effect, with implications for front rotor interaction noise. It was found that the aft rotor had no substantial effect on the position of the forward rotor tip vortex but did have a small effect on the circulation strength of the vortex when the rotors were highly loaded.

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