Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Dr. Dianne DeTurris


An Axisymmetric Rocket Ejector Simulation (ARES) was developed to numerically analyze various configurations of an air augmented rocket. Primary and secondary flow field visualizations are presented and performance predictions are tabulated. A parametric study on ejector geometry is obtained following a validation of the flow fields and performance values.

The primary flow is calculated using a quasi-2D, irrotational Method of Characteristics and the secondary flow is found using isentropic relations. Primary calculations begin at the throat and extend through the nozzle to the location of the first Mach Disk. Combustion properties are tabulated before analysis to allow for propellant property selection. Secondary flow calculations employ the previously calculated plume boundary and ejector geometry to form an isentropic solution. Primary and secondary flow computations are iterated along the new pressure distributions established by the 1D analysis until a convergence tolerance is met. Thrust augmentation and Specific Impulse values are predicted using a control volume approach.

For the validation test cases, the nozzle characteristic net is very similar to that of previous research. Plume characteristics are in good agreement but fluctuate in accuracy due to flow structure formulation. The individual unit processes utilized by the Method of Characteristics are found to vary their outputs by up to 0.025% when compared to existing sources. Rocket thrust and specific impulse are increased by up to 22% for a static system and 15% for an ejector flow at Mach 0.5. Evidence of Fabri conditions were observed in the flow visualization and graphically through the performance predictions. It was determined that the optimum ejector divergence angle for an air augmented rocket greatly depends on the stagnation pressure ratio between the primary and secondary flows.