Non-Contact Measurement of Blade Vibration in an Axial Compressor

Sensors 2020, 20(1), 68; (registering DOI)
Received: 24 November 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019
Complex blade responses such as a rotating stall or simultaneous resonances are common in modern engines and their observation can be a challenge even for state-of-the-art tip-timing systems and trained operators. This paper analyses forced vibrations of axial compressor blades, measured during the bench tests of the SO-3 turbojet. In relation to earlier studies conducted in Poland with a small number of sensors, a multichannel tip-timing system let us observe simultaneous responses or higher-order modes. To find possible symptoms of a failure, blade responses in a healthy and unhealthy engine configuration with an inlet blocker were studied. The used analysis methods covered all-blade spectrum and the circumferential fitting of blade deflections to the harmonic oscillator model. The Pearson coefficient of correlation between the measured and predicted tip deflection is calculated to evaluate fitting results. It helps to avoid common operator mistakes and misinterpreting the results. The proposed modal solver can track the vibration frequency and adjust the engine order on the fly. That way, synchronous and asynchronous vibrations are observed and analysed together with an extended variant of least squares. This approach saves a lot of work related to configuring the conventional tip-timing solver.