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Multiphysics Framework for Prediction of Dynamic Instability in Liquid Rocket Engines

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX17CM19P
Agency Tracking Number: 170023
Amount: $124,819.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T1.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-06-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-06-08
Small Business Information
13290 Evening Creek Drive South, Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92128-4695
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Zachary LaBry
 Project Engineer
 (424) 277-5673
Business Contact
 Joshua Davis
Title: Director, New Technology
Phone: (858) 480-2028
Research Institution
 Purdue University
 Kirsten Sherman-Haynes
155 South Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114
United States

 (765) 494-6204
 Domestic nonprofit research organization

Mitigation of dynamic combustion instability is one of the most difficult engineering challenges facing NASA and industry in the development of new continuous-flow combustion systems such as the combustion chambers in liquid-fueled rocket engines (LREs). Combustion instabilities are spontaneous, self-sustaining oscillations that tie the combustor acoustics to the combustion reaction itself. These oscillations can lead to a wide range of problems from off-design performance to catastrophic failure. Efforts to predict instabilities at design-time is hindered by the complex, multi-physics nature of the acoustics and chemistry, typically requiring multiple iterations of time and resource intensive system prototyping. The proposed Phase I STTR project aims to develop a simulation framework that will enable accurate, design-time prediction of instabilities. This framework will leverage the capabilities of Loci/CHEM for massively parallel, multi-physics flow simulations to generate low-order, independent models of combustion and acoustic response to perturbations. By solving for simultaneous solutions of these low-order perturbation models, it will be possible to numerically map the acoustic modes of the system to their stability characteristics, providing a means to predict instability. Phase I will develop critical additions to Loci/CHEM's combustion modeling capabilities, develop the appropriate acoustic models, develop a test plan for experimental validation of the combustion model, and conclude with a proof-of-concept demonstration of the full framework. In Phase II, an experimental campaign will be carried out to validate the combustion modeling tools developed in Phase I and augment the simulation framework with multi-phase modeling appropriate for full-scale LRE combustion chambers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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