New approaches for fundamental rocket injector studies using a shock tube Conference Paper uri icon


  • Due to the considerable amount of time, effort, and cost to design and test new rocket injectors, alternative methods for studying fundamental processes of injection and instability at rocket conditions using a shock tube are presently being explored. Shock tubes have the advantage that they can reproduce rocket temperatures and pressures by using incident and reflected shock waves without the complexities associated with steady-state flow rigs. The main limitation to the shock-tube technique, however, is the transient test on the order of milliseconds. Nonetheless, if a given experiment were appropriately designed, a shock tube can provide useful information regarding phenomena such as droplet vaporization, supercritical fluids, spray /acoustic wave interaction, droplet breakup, and even injector flow processes. Shock tubes have been utilized over the past few decades for such fundamental studies involving heterogeneous, reacting flow fields, but very little research has specifically targeted rocket combustion processes. Several uses of a shock tube for fundamental liquid-propellant rocket research are discussed, including ignition studies, wave interactions, and spray behavior at sub- and supercritical chamber conditions. To this end, a new capability has been added to the authors' shock-tube laboratory, namely a modified test section that allows timed coaxial injection of a fuel and oxidizer into the hot gas region behind the reflected shock wave. This test section has large windows for optical access of flow phenomena. Details on the new hardware design and characterization are provided.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rotavera, B., Amadio, A., Antonovski, V., & Petersen, E.

publication date

  • December 2006