Advanced Flow Analysis Tools for Transient Solid Rocket Motor Simulations

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Tetra Research Corporation
420 Park Avenue West
Princeton, IL 61356
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Mississippi State University
133 Etheridge Hall, 449 Hardy Road
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Institution POC


The challenges of designing, developing, and fielding man-rated propulsion systems continue to increase as NASA's mission moves forward with evolving solid propulsion requirements. Recent developments in simulating solid rocket motor environments include Lagrangian particle tracking, particle combustion models, dynamic particle drag and breakup models, and two phase impingement phenomena. These advances are demonstrating success in numerically simulating solid motor environments, but evolutionary innovations leading to more realistic simulations are required. In particular, transient ignition phenomena, such as grain surface heating, initiation of surface reactions, and transition to steady burning, have not yet been addressed. Consideration of these transient flow aspects is extremely important for analyzing ignition delay, pressure buildup, nonuniform grain recession, and overall combustion behavior. Our research will combine existing two phase flow tools for solid motors with a grain heating and ignition model to produce software tools for simulating transient ignition phenomena and the subsequent flow development. These products will ultimately provide NASA with the important capability to simultaneously analyze solid propellant ignition and combustion, heat transfer, and grain burnback within a unified framework. We will demonstrate feasibility using a two phase solid propellant ignition model for a simple grain shape in the TRL range of 3-4.