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- Liquid rocket engines using oxygen and methane propellants are being considered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for future in-space vehicles. This propellant combination has not been previously used in flight-qualified engine systems developed by NASA, so limited test data and analysis results are available at this stage of early development. As part of activities for the Propulsion and Cryogenic Advanced Development (PCAD) project funded under the Exploration Technology Development Program, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has been evaluating capability to model combustion performance and stability for oxygen and methane propellants. This activity has been proceeding for about two years and this paper is a summary of results to date. Hot-fire test results of oxygen/methane propellant rocket engine combustion devices for the modeling investigations have come from several sources, including multi-element injector tests with gaseous methane from the 1980s, single element tests with gaseous methane funded through the Constellation University Institutes Program, and multi-element injector tests with both gaseous and liquid methane conducted at the NASA MSFC funded by PCAD. For the latter, test results of both impinging and coaxial element injectors using liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellants are included. Configurations were modeled with two one-dimensional liquid rocket combustion analysis codes, the Rocket Combustor Interactive Design and Analysis code and the Coaxial Injector Combustion Model. Special effort was focused on how these codes can be used to model combustion and performance with oxygen/methane propellants a priori, and what anchoring or calibrating features need to be applied, improved or developed in the future. Low frequency combustion instability (chug) occurred, with frequencies ranging from 150 to 250 Hz, with several multi-element injectors with liquid/liquid propellants, and was modeled using techniques from Wenzel and Szuch. High-frequency combustion instability also occurred at the first tangential (1T) mode, at about 4500 Hz, with several multi-element injectors with liquid/liquid propellants. Analyses of the transverse mode instability were conducted by evaluating injector resonances and empirical methods developed by Hewitt.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20100034924.
46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference; 25-28 Jul. 2010; Nashville, TN; United States.
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