Solid Rocket Motor Propellant Optimization with Coupled Internal Ballistic–Structural Interaction Approach

Ceyhun Tola (Istanbul Technical University)

CHALLENGE - This research aims to optimize the geometric design of slotted propellant grains for solid rocket motors with respect to coupled internal ballistic performance and structural strength criteria.

SOLUTION - A multidisciplinary design optimization study is carried out for a slotted solid rocket motor by employing the developed internal ballistic–structural interaction approach. modeFRONTIER optimization software is used as a multidisciplinary optimization driver in the automatic framework established within this study, and MOGA-II, which is a nongradient-based optimization algorithm, is preferred for optimization with multi-objectives. The optimization software varies the input parameters within the boundaries of the design space defined by their lower and upper limits. The objective of the optimization process is to find optimum values of the geometric parameters that will yield the maximum specific impulse and the minimum propellant mass with constraints on the total impulse, the burning time, the maximum pressure, and the margin of safety (MS) values.

BENEFITS - Multidisciplinary design optimization is quite important for a multiphysics design process such as a rocket design, and the internal ballistic–structural interaction approach developed in this work facilitates the overcoming of complex design challenges in a short span of time. The current rocket design process benefits from increased accuracy, efficiency, performance, and reduced weight as a result of this novel approach.