Rocket Nozzle Thrust Diverter
ABSTRACT: Exquadrum proposes to continue development of its rocket nozzle thrust diverter, which was successfully demonstrated in Phase I. The innovative thrust diverter operates separate from the engine and engine cycle, and therefore has no performance effect on the turbomachinery, thrust chamber, or nozzle. It is stowed away from the engine exhaust stream for re-usability and long-life, and is deployed using a single actuator, synchronization ring, and linkages. In Phase I, Exquadrum document the requirements, used modeling and simulation to conduct design trade studies, and performed a proof-of-concept hot-fire test demonstrating an additional 3.7:1 throttling capability. Further, analysis quantified the impact this technology has to increase the engine performance by using the thrust diverter as an uncooled nozzle extension and for altitude compensation. Phase II will continue the technology development by maturing the thermal and mechanical design of the thrust diverter, culminating in full life thermal-mechanical demonstration. BENEFIT: Anticipated benefits of this research includes the successful full-duration life demonstration of full-scale rocket nozzle thrust diverter hot section parts. This test will demonstrate the ability of the rocket nozzle thrust diverter to withstand the high heat flux environment of the rocket nozzle exhaust for long durations. The mechanical testing will demonstrate the ability of a compact actuation system to withstand the deployment loads and operational forces associated with the thrust diversion. Additional benefits of the rocket nozzle thrust diverter include using it as an uncooled nozzle extension for increased performance, as well as using its actuation capability to provide altitude compensation for improved off-design performance. These performance improvements have the potential to offset the added weight of the thrust diverter system. The rocket nozzle thrust diverter enables greater throttle range beyond the rocket engine throttle capability. Moving the throttling capability from the engine to the diverter reduces the operating range of the engine, which improves its performance and reliability. Having an overall increased throttle range enables significantly lower thrust during stage separation for a booster engine and provides deeper throttling capability for upper stage engines. Additionally, the thrust reduction capability enables increased precision for DACS thrusters, and the thrust reduction and/or vectoring capability provides improved maneuverability for missiles. The technology is applicable to booster and upper stage engines with either bell, conical, or aerospike nozzles for Air Force, NASA, and the growing commercial space launch industry, as well as DoD missile applications.
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