Solid Rocket Motor Internal Flow Solutions with FlightStream
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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This thesis seeks to advance the state of the art for conceptual and preliminary design of solid propellant rocket motors by adapting surface vorticity solution methods to the internal ballistics problem. The practical approach is to adapt a surface-vorticity solver known as FlightStream® originally designed for external flow analysis to the solution of internal flows of interest to the solid rocket motor design community. This work focuses particularly on solid propellant rocket motor combustion chambers. Four analytic models were derived and used to validate various simple solid rocket motor internal flow models. Excellent agreement between the analytic solutions and FlightStream® was observed. The Space Shuttle’s Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) was used as a more complex and realistic validation case. To compare with the validation data, corrections to FlightStream®’s potential solution were necessary. Analyses were conducted to ensure FlightStream® produced a valid potential solution for the RSRM. The corrected solution was accurate to the validation data, though error increases in the second half of the RSRM. This was believed to be due to the radial slots between the RSRM segments, which likely generate recirculation that could not be accurately captured in the method applied in this report.