Guarnieri, Jason Antonio (2005-02). Thermal signature reduction through liquid nitrogen and water injection. Master's Thesis.
The protection of aircraft against shoulder fired heat seeking missiles is of growing concern in the aviation community. This thesis presents a simple method for shielding the infrared signature of a jet engine from heat seeking missiles. The research efforts investigated two approaches to shield the thermal signature of the Noel Penny Type 401 turbojet at the Texas A&M University Propulsion Lab Test Cell. First, liquid nitrogen was injected through a manifold at a flow rate equivalent to the flow rate of exhaust gases, producing a small temperature reduction in the exhaust but no infrared shielding. Second, water was injected at a flow rate of 13% of the flow of exhaust gases, producing a greater temperature reduction and some shielding. Water was then injected through a manifold at a flow rate of 118% of the flow rate of exhaust gases, producing a substantial reduction in temperature and complete shielding of the infrared signature. Additionally, numerical simulations were performed using FLUENT to support these experiments. Results are presented in the form of thermocouple data and thermal images from the experiments, and in the form of temperature contours and streamtraces from the simulations.