The History and Promise of Combined Cycle Engines for Access to Space Applications
- Clark, Casie
- June 21, 2010.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- For the summer of 2010, I have been working in the Aerodynamics and Propulsion Branch at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center studying combined-cycle engines, a high speed propulsion concept. Combined cycle engines integrate multiple propulsion systems into a single engine capable of running in multiple modes. These different modes allow the engine to be extremely versatile and efficient in varied flight conditions. The two most common types of combined cycle engines are Rocket-Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) and Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC). The RBCC essentially combines a rocket and ramjet engine, while the TBCC integrates a turbojet and ramjet1. These two engines are able to switch between different propulsion modes to achieve maximum performance. Extensive conceptual and ground test studies of RBCC engines have been undertaken; however, an RBCC engine has never, to my knowledge, been demonstrated in flight. RBCC engines are of particular interest because they could potentially power a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) into space. The TBCC has been flight tested and shown to be effective at reaching supersonic speeds, most notably in the SR-71 Blackbird2.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20110003575.
- Copyright, Distribution under U.S. Government purpose rights.
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