The unsteady flow field generated by the rotor provides unsteady aerodynamic excitations to the downstream stator, which can result in vibrations such as forced response. In this paper, measurements of the rotor wake and rotor tip leakage flow from an embedded rotor in a multistage axial compressor are presented. A unique feature of this work is the pitchwise traverse of the flow field used to highlight the changes in the rotor exit flow field with respect to the position of the surrounding vane rows. Results acquired at midspan focus on characterizing an average rotor wake, including the effects on the frequency spectrum, from a forced response perspective. While many analyses use an average rotor wake to characterize the aerodynamic forcing function to the downstream stator, this study explores the factors that influence changes in the rotor wake shape and the resulting impact on the spectrum. Additionally, this paper investigates the flow near the endwall where the tip leakage vortex is an important contributor to the aerodynamic excitations for the downstream vane. For the first time, experimental data are presented at the rotor exit, which show the modulation in size and radial penetration of the tip leakage vortex as the rotor passes through the upstream vane wake. As computational models become more advanced, the ability to incorporate these aerodynamic excitation effects should be considered to provide better predictions for vane vibratory response.

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