Here we report on an analytical study of the unsteady aerodynamic interactions of a closely coupled, co-rotating, high- and low-pressure turbine configuration. The effort was focused on the prediction of unsteady surface pressures imparted on the first blade of the low-pressure turbine (LPT). As a first step, a baseline three-row time-accurate prediction was carried out for the first three rows of the low-pressure turbine (vane-blade-vane). In contrast to the three-row results, a four-row analysis, which included the blade of the high-pressure turbine, revealed that the temporally varying tangential load on the LPT blade was increased in amplitude by a factor of five compared to the three-row case with a shift in primary unsteady energy to unexpected frequencies. In the four-row analysis, a region of unusually high unsteadiness near the tip of the LPT blade was also characterized by an increase in the amplitude of the fluctuating surface pressure by a factor of nearly seven, again, with unexpected attendant frequencies. A model is presented which explains the unexpected frequencies realized in the four-row results and allows the redetermination of these frequencies without the use of CFD. In an effort to better understand the complex interactions between the high- and low-pressure turbines, the first vane of the low-pressure turbine was redesigned, and the remaining airfoils were reoriented, to establish a counter-rotating turbine configuration. While substantial reductions in unsteady surface-pressure amplitudes were realized near the tip of the LPT blade with the switch to counter rotation, the amplitude of the temporally varying tangential load on the blade remained notably higher than that from the three-low analysis. The precise physical cause for the high levels of local unsteadiness near the tip of the first LPT blade in the co-rotating configuration remains unclear.

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