The sound arising from blade row interaction in open rotor propulsion systems is known to significantly contribute to overall noise emissions. The present paper therefore addresses the origination of rotor-rotor interaction noise from a pair of unducted counter-rotating fans. The focus is on the aerodynamic mechanisms that involve sound generation, in order to provide the physical understanding required to find noise-reducing means. Detailed insight into the underlying phenomena is provided on the basis of numerical simulations applying the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. The interaction mechanisms are identified by extracting the time-dependent disturbances of the flow field in the respective rotor relative frame of reference. Conclusions on the sources of interaction noise and potential noise-reducing means are drawn by evaluating polar directivities, blade surface pressure distributions and propagation characteristics.

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