Design and CFD analysis of the demonstrator aerospike engine for a small satellite launcher application

Bulut, Jane (2020) Design and CFD analysis of the demonstrator aerospike engine for a small satellite launcher application. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Aerospace engineering / ingegneria aerospaziale [LM-DM270] - Forli', Documento full-text non disponibile
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Starting with a brief overview of thrust generation for launchers, this study focuses on the design process of the demonstrator aerospike engine, DEMOP-1, of the Pangea Aerospace's commercial grade engine and its flow field analysis. The primary goal of the study is to obtain the plug nozzle design delivers 30 kN thrust using cryogenic liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer and cryogenic liquid methane (LCH4) as the fuel, with the mixture ratio of 3.4. Design parameters considered as 30 bar of combustion chamber pressure (Po) and expansion ratio as 15 for an optimum expanded nozzle. On the basis of decided design characteristics, Angelino's method is used to design the nozzle contour through MATLAB. The flow field over the aerospike analyzed using commercial CFD program FLUENT for sea level, optimum expansion and vacuum conditions. Flow simulations are carried out for air (specific heat ratio, gamma= 1.4), and afterwards based on the obtained thrust values at each altitude for air, expected thrust values for the real propellant, LOX/LCH4 (specific heat ratio, gamma = 1.1664), are calculated. Finally, the study is concluded with the comparison of trend in thrust and specific impulse for conventional bell nozzle and aerospike. For the conventional bell engine the values obtained in commercial computational simulation of chemical rocket propulsion and combustion software RPA for bell nozzle with same characteristics with aerospike, Po = 30 bar and expansion ratio = 15, are taken as reference for sea level, optimum expansion level and vacuum condition performance. Due to its ability to adopt the altitude, aerospike delivers higher performance at the low altitudes with respect to the conventional bell nozzle which has the same expansion ratio and combustion chamber pressure. Last in order but not in importance, after obtaining the flow field on plug of the aerospike, the shock wave impingement on the nozzle surface at sea level has been investigated.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Bulut, Jane
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Space propulsion, microlauncher, aerospike engine, plug nozzle, reusable rocket, flow field investigation, supercritical methane, Pangea Aerospace, thrust, CFD, Fluent, altitude compensation, demonstrator
Data di discussione della Tesi
13 Febbraio 2020

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