Intakes of reduced length have been proposed with the aim of producing aero-engines with higher efficiency and reduced weight. As the intake length decreases, it is expected that stronger effects of the fan on the flow over the intake lip will be seen. If the effects of the fan cannot be ignored, a low-cost but still accurate fan model is of great importance for designing a short-intake.
In this paper, a low order rotor/stator model — the immersed boundary method with smeared geometry (IBMSG), has been further developed and validated on a rig test case. The improved IBMSG is more robust than the original. The rig test case used for validation features a low-pressure compression system with a non-axisymmetric inflow, which is representative of the inlet condition of an aero-engine at its cruise condition. Both the fan and the Outlet Guide Vanes (OGV) are modelled using IBMSG. Detailed analysis is carried out on the flow both upstream and downstream of the fan. After validating the IBMSG method against the rig test case, a short-intake case, coupled with a fan designed for the next generation of aero-engines, is further investigated. It is found that, compared with the intake-alone case, the inflow distortion at the fan face is significantly reduced by the presence of fan. Due to this increased interaction between the fan and the flow over the intake lip, accounting for the effects of the downstream fan is shown to be essential when designing a short intake.