High-accuracy numerical simulations are performed to study aeroacoustic source mechanisms of wavy leading edges (WLEs) on a thin aerofoil undergoing vortical disturbances. This canonical study is based on a prescribed spanwise vortex travelling downstream and creating secondary vortices as it passes through the aerofoil’s leading edge. The primary aim of the study is to precisely understand the relationships between the vortex-induced velocity perturbation and the wall pressure fluctuation on the WLE geometry. It is observed that by increasing the size (amplitude) of the WLE the source strength at the peak region is reduced rapidly to a certain point, followed by a saturation stage, while at the root (trough) it remains fairly consistent regardless of the WLE size. This observation is demonstrated to be the consequence of three-dimensional vortex dynamics taking place along the WLE. One of the most profound features is that a system of horseshoe-like secondary vortices are created from the WLE peak region upon the impingement of the prescribed vortex. It is found that the horseshoe vortices produce a significantly non-uniform velocity perturbation in front of the WLE leading to the disparity in the source characteristics between the peak and root. The alterations to the impinging velocity perturbation are carefully analysed and related to the wall pressure fluctuation in this study. In addition, a semi-analytic model based on Biot–Savart’s law is developed to better understand and explain the role of the horseshoe vortex systems and the source mechanisms.
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