Applications of modeFRONTIER in Liquid Propellant Rocket Engine Design
CHALLENGE - The design of the L75 rocket engine, which started in 2008, required liquid oxygen/kerosene as propellant pair, 75 kN of thrust in vacuum and an estimated specific impulse of 324 s. However, in 2013 the engineers switched to ethanol as fuel, which caused a 30% power decrease calling for engine design re-definition.
SOLUTION - The engineers studied the parameters affecting the combustion at target temperature with the reverse calculation of chemical equilibrium models. The problem was approached using modeFRONTIER design space exploration and response surface modeling techniques.
BENEFIT - The use of DOE, response surfaces and statistical analysis tools available in modeFRONTIER significantly simplified the design problem resulting in an ethanol-fuelled engine as propellant-efficient as a kerosene-fueled engine with the same thrust, but designed without such techniques.