Ducted propellers are commonly used on naval vessels such as submarines and increasingly more in omnipresent autonomous underwater vehicles. Understanding the noise signature of these vessels is of critical importance from both detection and concealment perspective, but the detailed physics of how the tip of the propeller blade interacts with the boundary layer on the duct is not sufficiently well understood. The present study introduces a series of simulations in which tip vortices formed over finite-span lifting surfaces are investigated with the aim of better understanding interactions of tip-gap flow and its interaction with incident boundary layers on radiated noise. Particular attention is devoted to characterizing the nature of the incipient complex flow features and their effect on the force coefficients, surface pressure fluctuations. These reveal that variations of force coefficients with tip-gap height may be used as an early indicator of tip vortex being suppressed as the gap is reduced. Use of the λ2 criterion identifies the formation of strong coherent vortical structures in the tip-gap region. It is suggested that the interaction of these structures with the tip edges is likely to be an important source of noise, with a similar generation mechanism to trailing edge noise. Preliminary analysis of the acoustic signatures computed using the Ffowcs Williams-Hawkings acoustic analogy indicates high levels of directivity, with most of the noise being generated by the foil rather than the duct. The presence of substantial amounts of vorticity in the flow also suggests that accounting for the nonlinear quadrupole noise sources within the fluid might be necessary to fully describe the noise pattern developed.

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