Fluid/Structural Interaction Tools for Liquid Rocket Engines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-12-M-1002
Agency Tracking Number: F112-179-1066
Amount: $149,800.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF112-179
Solicitation Number: 2011.2
Small Business Information
11995 El Camino Real, Suite 200, San Diego, CA, -
DUNS: 133709001
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott Miskovish
 Senior Technical Advisor
 (724) 941-4672
Business Contact
 Joe Titlow
Title: Director, LA District Office
Phone: (310) 341-0398
Email: joe.titlow@ata-e.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Liquid rocket engine (LRE) turbopumps operate in complex and often harsh flow regimes that range from cavitating liquid flows in pumps to shock-containing compressible flows in turbine components. The unsteady flow phenomena seen by structural components establish design limitations associated with mean loadings and cyclic fatigue. The current LRE design process simplifies the modeling of these phenomena due to the lack of fully-coupled fluid/structural interaction (FSI) analysis tools, potentially leading to excessive conservatism in the design. The current analysis methods used in turbomachinery tend to oversimplify the complex interactions between fluids and structures in that they are mostly"one-way"couplings. The proposed innovation is to move the state-of-the-art analysis of liquid rocket engine turbomachinery past the current one-way coupling schemes towards a fully-coupled FSI simulation. This goal will be achieved through the development of methods that allow the close coupling of commercially available nonlinear computational structural dynamics and computational fluid dynamics tools. Future enhancements can be implemented in these codes that are specifically tailored to turbomachinery. The objectives of the Phase I program are to demonstrate feasibility of tools and models and to identify potential verification and validation cases relevant to liquid rocket engine conditions. BENEFIT: Next-generation launch programs will require propulsion systems that deliver high thrust-to-weight ratios, increased trajectory-averaged specific impulse, reliable overall vehicle systems performance, low recurring costs, and improved crew safety. The development of a comprehensive set of validated FSI methods and tools provides a unique opportunity to optimize design, realize additional system efficiencies, reduce weight and/or cost, and increase part life in future generations of liquid rocket engine (LRE) designs. The benefits of the technology and potential commercial applications are not limited solely to the LRE industry. The methods developed in this SBIR can also be used to help optimize the design of military and commercial gas turbine engines and any rotating machinery that experiences significant fluid/structure interactions.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government