Date of Award

Fall 2014

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Magdy Attia

First Committee Member

Dr. Mark Ricklick

Second Committee Member

Dr. Sathya Gangadharan


As the world has moved into a more energy-demanding environment, there has been the push for higher energy density in a smaller package. One of the potential solutions is through the application of a gas turbine engine; yet the challenge is extracting the energy efficiently through the small components. The focus of the research is on the turbine components and how the secondary flow losses from the generated airfoil shapes can be reduced to improve component performance. One of the secondary flow loss items to be addressed is the generation of the Horseshoe Vortex. The Horseshoe Vortex is an aerodynamic phenomenon that occurs in axial turbine cascades that degrades the aerodynamic performance. This research will show that through airfoil design optimization, the Horseshoe Vortex on small turbine nozzles can be reduced. The initial turbine design was generated using simple incompressible flow calculations and then run through a Navier-Stokes SST solver. This solver allows for the interaction of the boundary layer with the airfoil geometry, therefore generating a new set of inlet velocity triangles. The geometry was then optimized to match the new inlet velocity triangle. The new optimized airfoil was run through the same boundary layer build up, and the same boundary conditions as the original incompressible design. The presented results will show that the Horseshoe Vortex has been mitigated and that the total pressure distribution at the exit of the turbine inlet nozzle cascade has improved by 7.6 %.