Task 325 - Optical Measurements of Rocket Nozzle Thrusts and Noise (037392)
Project Status: Current
The high-temperature, high-speed exhaust from the propulsion systems of commercial systems, such as the SpaceX Falcon vehicles, impinges on the launch pad surface (see Space X, Merlin Engine in figure). This results in very high unsteady pressure loads and extremely high fluctuating thermal loads in the vicinity of the impingement region which leads to structural vibrations that can compromise efficiency and operational safety. The aeroacoustic loads due to rocket plume impingement and vehicle leading edge and boat-tail interactions will be experimentally examined in our jet, rocket and aerodynamic facilities. We will develop, test and refine promising Active, Passive and Hybrid flow control methods. Based on our results we will identify the most promising method(s) in light of: flow unsteadiness reduction efficacy and full-scale implementation practicality.