Advanced Cooling Techniques for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components

Period of Performance: 06/04/2003 - 02/04/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Design of a high performance hydrocarbon liquid rocket engine (LRE) requires a thorough understanding of the heat transfer and cooling requirements of LRE's. An efficient cooling system is crucial in extending engine life and minimizing pumping power. It is essential to be able to accurately calculate the thermal response to ensure that materials maintain structural integrity and the cooling channels do not develop coking. Development of a computer tool for analysis and design of innovative cooling systems for hydrocarbon LRE's is proposed. The innovation proposed here is to use proven rocket engine codes to develop a fast and accurate engineering tool which will allow the analysts to evaluate the effect of design modifications on overall system requirements. The unique feature of this model is conjugating all thermal and fluid processes in the LRE in order to achieve matched results. This computer model will aid in the design and analysis of cooling channels, thereby reducing the number of costly prototypes. This model will also allow the designer to analyze new cooling channel concepts, such as differential channel configurations, transpiration cooling, and heat transfer enhancements. The proposed computer tool will allow the user to quickly and accurately calculate the thermal response of a high performance hydrocarbon liquid rocket engine. This will enable the designer to ensure structural integrity while minimizing pumping power requirements. This model will also allow the designer to explore new cooling concepts without the expense of costly prototypes. SEA is currently the sole owner of the TDK'02 computer code. This code is accepted as the JANNAF standard for calculating LRE performance. The proposed computer model will be made available to all TDK customers as a plug in module. Since this code is used throughout the industry, the end product will be used by most of the LRE manufacturers, designers, and analysists.