Computational Investigation of a Boundary-layer Ingestion Propulsion System for the Common Research Model

Open Access
Blumenthal, Brennan Theodore
Graduate Program:
Aerospace Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 31, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Mark David Maughmer, Thesis Advisor
  • Sven Schmitz, Thesis Advisor
  • George A Lesieutre, Thesis Advisor
  • Boundary-layer Ingestion
  • Propulsion
  • CFD
  • USM3D
  • NPSS
  • Common Research Model
  • CRM
This thesis will examine potential propulsive and aerodynamic benefits of integrating a Boundary-layer Ingestion (BLI) propulsion system with a typical commercial aircraft using the Common Research Model geometry and the NASA Tetrahedral Unstructured Software System (TetrUSS). The Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) environment will be used to generate engine conditions for CFD analysis. Improvements to the BLI geometry will be made using the Constrained Direct Iterative Surface Curvature (CDISC) design method. Previous studies have shown reductions of up to 25% in terms of propulsive power required for cruise for other axisymmetric geometries using the BLI concept. An analysis of engine power requirements, drag, and lift coefficients using the baseline and BLI geometries coupled with the NPSS model are shown. Potential benefits of the BLI system relating to cruise propulsive power are quantified using a power balance method and a comparison to the baseline case is made. Iterations of the BLI geometric design are shown and any improvements between subsequent BLI designs presented. Simulations are conducted for a cruise flight condition of Mach 0.85 at an altitude of 38,500 feet and an angle of attack of 2° for all geometries. A comparison between available wind tunnel data, previous computational results, and the original CRM model is presented for model verification purposes along with full results for BLI power savings. Results indicate a 14.3% reduction in engine power requirements at cruise for the BLI configuration over the baseline geometry. Minor shaping of the aft portion of the fuselage using CDISC has been shown to increase the benefit from boundary-layer ingestion further, resulting in a 15.6% reduction in power requirements for cruise as well as a drag reduction of eighteen counts over the baseline geometry.