Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Paul I. King, PhD


Often turbomachinery airfoils are designed with aerodynamic performance foremost in mind rather than component durability. However, future aircraft systems require ever increasing levels of gas-turbine inlet temperature causing the durability and reliability of turbine components to be an ever more important design concern. As a result, the need to provide improved heat transfer prediction and optimization methods presents itself. Here, an effort to design an airfoil with minimized heat load is reported. First, a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) flow solver was validated over different flow regimes as well as varying boundary conditions against extensive data available in literature published by the Von Karman Institute (VKI). Next, a nominal turbine inlet vane was tested experimentally for heat load measurements in a shock tube linear cascade with special attention paid to leading edge and suction side characteristics and used to validate the flow solver further at the experimental conditions. The nominal airfoil geometry was then redesigned for minimum heat load by means of both design practice and two types of optimization algorithms. Finally, the new airfoil was tested experimentally and heat load trends were compared to design levels as well as the nominal vane counterpart. Results indicate an appreciable reduction in heat load relative to the original vane computationally and experimentally providing credible evidence to further bolster the practice of preliminary design of turbine components solely with respect to heat transfer using computational models and methods traditionally employed purely by aerodynamicists.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number