Date of Award
MS in Aerospace Engineering
A 2-D Air Augmented Rocket, the Cal Poly Air Augmented Rocket (CPAAR) Test Apparatus operating as a mixer-ejector was tested to investigate high stagnation pressure ratio and transient flow fields of an ejector. The primary rocket ejector was supplied with high pressure nitrogen at a maximum chamber pressure of 1758 psia and a maximum mass flow rate of 1.4 lb/s. The secondary flow air was entrained from a fixed volume plenum chamber producing pressures as low as 3.3 psia. The maximum total pressure ratio achieved was 221. The original CPAAR apparatus was rebuilt re-instrumented and capability expanded. A fixed volume plenum was attached to the secondary ducts through a constant area square section to mimic the cross section of the secondary ducts with a bell mouth inlet. The mixing duct length was increased from 8 in. to 18 in.
An investigation of the mixing duct flow-field was done with data from pressure and temperature instrumentation. A study of the transient operation of the rocket was compared with results from former research to qualify the quasi-steady assumption of the flow-field. The CPAAR produced Fabri-choked operation, the startup transient observed caused the secondary flow to become established during Fabri-choke mode operation. The supersonic saturated mode was not observed during quasi-steady operation. The quasi-steady operation was defined based on characteristics from previous quasi-steady models of transient operation of supersonic ejectors.
The measurement of the data during testing resulted in a 2.96% experimental uncertainty in the entrainment ratio calculation. The smallest entrainment ratio observed was 0.05 at a total pressure ratio of 220. The location of the Fabri-choke point was shown through the interpretation of the primary and secondary flow as a result of the pressure and temperature measurements. The experimental evidence showed the location of the secondary choke point has a logarithmic relationship with the total pressure ratio. At a total pressure ratio of 220, the area of the aerodynamic throat of the secondary flow is 0.26 in2 and the location occurs 6 inches downstream from the nozzle exit. The secondary flow un-choke is related to the breakdown of the shock structure of the primary flow and produces a flow-field asymmetry which blocks the right duct flow.
The CPSE simulation was unable to accurately predict AAR performance when the inputs are changed from the original CPAAR configuration. At high pressure ratios (PR=220), the error in the prediction is 90%.