Parametric Analysis of High Pressure Propellant Flows in Fastrac Engine

Photo of Myles Breaux, Matthew Chen, Zachary Straw, Alex von Sternberg Students: Myles Breaux, Matthew Chen, Zachary Straw, Alex von Sternberg

Sponsor: NASA

Date: Spring 2012

Requirements:
The majority of the requirements are associated with flow rates, pressures, and mixture ratios of the liquid oxygen (LOX) and Rocket Propellant-1 (RP-1). In order to ensure proper operation, the RP-1 and LOX were required to have mass flow rates of 58.53 lbm/s and 136.97 lbm/s, respectively. A mixture ratio of 2.34 is necessary to achieve a maximum thrust of 60,000 lbf. Complete specifications on each valve were used to construct the simulation.

Problem:
An engineering parametric analysis must be performed on the high pressure plumbing of the X-34 hypersonic flight vehicle's FASTRAC engine using NASA's Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP). The analysis includes the lines from the gas generator to the exhaust nozzle, and contains multiple valves for both the liquid oxygen oxidizer and RP-1 fuel systems.

Solution:
The team created separate models of the LOX and RP-1 systems to test the effects of various components on system performance. After completing steady state models that accurately simulated the system, the team created a transient model to determine the effects of component parameters. In general, decreasing the size of the orifice diameter increased the pressure differential across each orifice, and increasing the diameter size decreased the pressure differential. The GFSSP models were constructed in such a way that they can be easily scaled up or down, allowing NASA to cheaply and easily simulate various design changes.

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