Parametric Study of Dual-Expander Aerospike Nozzle Upper-Stage Rocket Engine
MBE: Model Based Engineering, MDAO: Multi-Disciplinary Analysis and Optimization
2011/03
Authors: J. Simmons and Richard Branam
Abstract

The Air Force Institute of Technology is studying a new upper-stage rocket engine architecture: the dual-expander aerospike nozzle. The goal of this research is to provide the maximum thrust-to-weight ratio in an engine that delivers a minimum of 50,000 lbf vacuum thrust with a vacuum specific impulse of 464 s. Previous work focused on developing an initial design to demonstrate the feasibility of the dual-expander aerospike nozzle architecture. That work culminated in a design exceeding the requirements, delivering an estimated 57,000 lbf thrust with a specific impulse of 472 s by using an oxidizer-to-fuel ratio of 7.03, a total mass flow of 121 lbm=s, and an engine length of 38 in. These results were computed in a numerical model of the engine. Current work expands the model in preparation for optimizing its thrust-to-weight ratio. The changes to the model are designed to support running automated parametric and optimization studies. Parametric studies varying oxidizer-to-fuel ratio, total mass flow, and chamber length show that a dual-expander aerospike nozzle engine can achieve 50,000 lbf vacuum thrust and 489 s vacuum Isp with an oxidizer-to-fuel ratio of six, a total mass flow of 104 lbm=s (a reduction of 14%), and an engine length of 27.9 in. (a reduction of over 25%), which should equate to a significant weight savings over the original design.

Please fill out the information requested below. A cookie will be saved on your machine so you will not have to register again.
Are you ready to improve efficiency and design better products? Contact us today to find out how.
Contact Us