Geometrical Nozzle Design for Wagtail Rocket Motors

McGilvray, Matthew, Teakle, Phillip, Jacobs, Peter and Morgan, Richard (2005). Geometrical Nozzle Design for Wagtail Rocket Motors. In: 5th Australian Space Science Conference, Melbourne (Hosted by RMIT), (). September 14 - 16, 2005.


Author McGilvray, Matthew
Teakle, Phillip
Jacobs, Peter
Morgan, Richard
Title of paper Geometrical Nozzle Design for Wagtail Rocket Motors
Conference name 5th Australian Space Science Conference
Conference location Melbourne (Hosted by RMIT)
Conference dates September 14 - 16, 2005
Publication Year 2005
Sub-type Fully published paper
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Rocket nozzle geometry optimization can increase the efficiency of a rocket during its burn time and can reduce the weight of this component. The University of Queensland Centre for Hypersonics’ “Wagtail” rocket project has produced small solid fuelled rockets motors for sounding rocket applications. The performance of an optimized nozzle contour has been compared with the Wagtail motor’s current conical nozzles. The difficulty of manufacture of these filament wound carbon/phenolic composite nozzles should not be increased by changing to complex contoured geometries.

An approximation of an optimized nozzle can be made using the guidelines of Rao (ref.) which fits a parabolic Bezier curve for the contour of the nozzle. Rao nozzle contours have been calculated for a sea level wagtail motor, upper atmosphere motor and a booster motor. The equilibrium properties of the motors propellant have been calculated at various temperatures and pressures using NASA’s Chemical Equilibrium Analysis (CEA) program. Using this, the three nozzle designs have been modelled using the CFD package MB_CNS, which uses an axis-symmetric Navier-Stokes solver. Performance results from this analysis are compared with analytical one-dimensional analysis from CEA, and with results from the simulation and experimental testing for a fifteen degree half angle conical nozzle.

The results of the analysis show that an increase in performance can be achieved for a lighter Rao nozzle compared with a conical nozzle. In addition, flow characteristics throughout the nozzle are found in the simulation, which cannot easily be measured experimentally.
Subjects 090107 Hypersonic Propulsion and Hypersonic Aerodynamics
Q-Index Code EX

 
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