This paper describes the results on an experimental investigation of rotating stall flow inside a single-stage axial flow compressor. Tests were carried out in two steps. First, measurements were taken to investigate the transition process into rotating stall. The compressor starts into rotating stall via the “modal route” with a single rotating stall cell. Further throttling yields to a two-cell shape followed by a significant outlet pressure drop. Both transition processes are discussed in detail. Results from the Moore–Greitzer theory are compared with measured data. In a second step, measurements were taken to determine the three-dimensional unsteady structure of a fully developed rotating-stall cell. Based on unsteady total pressure and three-dimensional hot-wire data, the structure of a rotating stall cell could be resolved in detail upstream and downstream of the rotor. A typical part-span stall was found. By inserting the measured data into the Euler equations, convective and unsteady effects on the pressure fluctuations can be isolated. A dependence between the radial flow inside the stall cell and the unsteady flow accelerations was found.

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