Due to the low level of profile losses reached in low-pressure turbines (LPT) for turbofan applications, a renewed interest is devoted to other sources of loss, e.g., secondary losses. At the same time, the adoption of high-lift profiles has reinforced the importance of these losses. A great attention, therefore, is dedicated to reliable prediction methods and to the understanding of the mechanisms that drive the secondary flows. In this context, a numerical and experimental campaign on a state-of-the-art LPT cascade was carried out focusing on the impact of different inlet boundary layer (BL) profiles. First of all, detailed Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) analyzes were carried out in order to establish dependable guidelines for the computational setup. Such analyzes also underlined the importance of the shape of the inlet BL very close to the endwall, suggesting tight requirements for the characterization of the experimental environment. The impact of the inlet BL on the secondary flow was experimentally investigated by varying the inlet profile very close to the endwall as well as on the external part of the BL. The effects on the cascade performance were evaluated by measuring the span-wise distributions of flow angle and total pressure losses. For all the inlet conditions, comparisons between Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and experimental results are discussed. Besides providing guidelines for a proper numerical and experimental setup, the present paper underlines the importance of a detailed characterization of the inlet BL for an accurate assessment of the secondary flows.

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