Design, Build and Testing of the Structural System for a Solid Fuel Ramjet

Tett, Benjamin (2004). Design, Build and Testing of the Structural System for a Solid Fuel Ramjet Honours Thesis, School of Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author Tett, Benjamin
Thesis Title Design, Build and Testing of the Structural System for a Solid Fuel Ramjet
School, Centre or Institute School of Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2004
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Richard Morgan
Total pages 132
Language eng
Subjects 0913 Mechanical Engineering
Formatted abstract
This thesis involves the design, build and testing of the overall structural system for a Mach 2 axi-symmetric supersonic solid fuel ramjet. The ramjet, dubbed TF-1000, launched successfully at 12:09 pm on Sunday the 3rd of October and touched down at 12:16 pm, 1 km out from the launch pad. This report covers the development of the project, from the pre-flight performance estimation to the flight and its results.

The ‘overall structural system’ includes the parachute adapter head and base, forward and rearward hub, centre pipe and igniter housing, forward and rearward cowling supports, the cowling and its fasteners. The materials specified for each part are as follows:

• Adapter - brass and aluminium
• Centre pipe and hubs - mild steel
• Cowling supports/flame holders - mild steel
• Inner cowling - aluminium
• Outer cowling - carbon fibre hoop winding
• Threaded fasteners - high tensile steel.

The total weight of the structural system is 9.8 kg and the total weight and length of the payload is 28.11 kg and 1530mm. It has a centre of gravity located 725mm from the bottom of the parachute module.

A pre-flight performance analysis is conducted to model the flow through the ramjet and determine the area ratio of the nozzle, which gives the thrust and acceleration of the rocket. The expected free stream conditions of Mach 2 give a throat/exit area ratio of 1.87. Using a conical nozzle with a 15 degree half cone angle positioned 20 degrees from the centre axis; the ramjet produces a thrust of 919 N and an effective acceleration of 2.27 G’s. The results from this analysis are supported by a CFD model constructed in Fastran.

Although the ramjet fuel failed to ignite during the flight test, the pre-flight performance code was adjusted to suit the properties of the rocket propellent. The new theoretical results were compared to the throat pressure measured by the on board instrumentation. This pressure reading was worked backwards to find the thrust of the ramjet during flight. Both analyses gave similar results with a thrust of 1202.61 N and an effective rocket acceleration of 2.97 G’s. This value is strongly reinforced by the RDAS accelerometer results which show an acceleration of 3 G’s.

Impressive organisation and professionalism by the TF-1000 team throughout the year resulted in the overall success of the ramjet at the 2004 launch campaign in Woomera.
Keyword Solid Fuel Ramjet

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2014, 14:22:35 EST by Asma Asrar Qureshi on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service