A method to compute unsteady propulsor forces for spatially and temporally varying inflows is presented. A propulsor flow prediction code, previously developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was modified and upgraded to account for time varying inflow and multiple blade rotations. The original code utilizes lifting surface theory and discretizes the propulsor surface as boundary elements to compute the unsteady potential flow. Experimental data characterizing the full unsteady, three-dimensional turbulent inflow to a Swirl-Induced Stator Upstream of Propulsor (SISUP) propulsor, were used as inflow boundary conditions. Experimental data recorded the periodic velocity fluctuations due to the stator wakes as well as the broadband turbulent characteristics of the inflow. Blade force, integrated shaft force, and blade pressure are computed based on the experimental inflow. The effect of periodic variations in the inflow was examined to determine the effect on unsteady blade forces. For these cases, the time mean experimental effective inflow is used and a fluctuating component is added for flow in the axial direction. This may be viewed as an effectively fluctuating freestream. Comparisons of unsteady force and radiated noise are then made with the baseline mean flow case to gauge the time-varying effects. Fluctuating velocity dramatically altered the force spectra even at frequencies different from the velocity fluctuation frequency. This modified algorithm can now be utilized to examine a wider set of time-dependent propulsor flow problems and to calculate the associated performance due to these unsteady flows.

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