STTR Phase I: Multi-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Stability Analysis Tool for Solid Rocket Motors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Software & Engineering Assoc., Inc.
1802 N. Carson Street, Suite 200
Carson City, NV 89701
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Tennessee Space Institute
411 B.H. Goethert Pkwy
Tullahoma, TN 37388
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to determine the feasibility of developing a hydrodynamic combustion stability analysis design tool for rockets, gas turbines, and large engines. As combustors are run at leaner mixture ratios to avoid NOx pollutant issues, vortex liquid rocket engines are designed with swirling flows to cool engines, and solid rocket motors are built with longer L/D ratios, combustion stability issues associated with rotating flows become significant concerns. In this work analytic models applied to simple geometries will be transferred into a general 3D capable stability tool. For this initial endeavor, the focus is on developing a hydrodynamic stability tool for the solid rocket motor industry. Currently, many large solid rocket motors exhibit hydrodynamic stability problems, including the Shuttle RSRM, Titan, and the Ariane V. By avoiding stability issues in the design process, this tool has the potential to not only save on revenue and loss in momentum, but also prevent developmental programs from being cancelled due to design problems late in the process.