Design Optimization of a Supersonic Nozzle

Marc Linares, Alessandro Ciampitt, Marco Robaina (Florida International University)

CHALLENGE - In an era of increasing space exploration and  industries, the implementation of more efficient and higher performing rocket engines will be essential. This project has been completed with the aim to introduce a more efficient and better-performing nozzle for rocket propulsion applications.

SOLUTION - The proposed objectives for this project are to minimize the total length of the nozzle while increasing the magnitude and uniformity of the exit flow. The following nozzle designs have been selected for optimization: conical, bell, and dual bell nozzles. Modeling the flow of air as an ideal cold gas was done using a variety of software platforms such as ANSYS Fluent, and a LOCI FORTRAN program. The Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) program modeFRONTIER, was run to optimize the supersonic nozzle using a variety of geometric configurations. 













BENEFITS -  In terms of results, only the conical nozzle was optimized and more trials for the optimization could have been run to validate the optimization process. Due to this result, the conical nozzle geometry was selected as the final design. The total length of the nozzle is optimized to 33mm.