Matching Items (3)

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An accessible architecture for affordable access to space

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A design methodology for a new breed of launch vehicle capable of lofting small satellites to orbit is discussed. The growing need for such a rocket is great: the United

A design methodology for a new breed of launch vehicle capable of lofting small satellites to orbit is discussed. The growing need for such a rocket is great: the United States has no capabilities in place to quickly launch and reconstitute satellite constellations. A loss of just one satellite, natural or induced, could significantly degrade or entirely eliminate critical space-based assets which would need to be quickly replaced. Furthermore a rocket capable of meeting the requirements for operationally responsive space missions would be an ideal launch platform for small commercial satellites. The proposed architecture to alleviate this lack of an affordable dedicated small-satellite launch vehicle relies upon a combination of expendable medium-range military surplus solid rocket motor assets. The dissertation discusses in detail the current operational capabilities of these military boosters and provides an outline for necessary refurbishments required to successfully place a small payload in orbit. A custom 3DOF trajectory script is used to evaluate the performance of these designs. Concurrently, a parametric cost-mass-performance response surface methodology is employed as an optimization tool to minimize life cycle costs of the proposed vehicles. This optimization scheme is centered on reducing life cycle costs per payload mass delivered rather than raw performance increases. Lastly, a novel upper-stage engine configuration using Hydroxlammonium Nitrate (HAN) is introduced and experimentally static test fired to illustrate the inherent simplicity and high performance of this high density, nontoxic propellant. The motor was operated in both pulse and small duration tests using a newly developed proprietary mixture that is hypergolic with HAN upon contact. This new propellant is demonstrated as a favorable replacement for current space vehicles relying on the heritage use of hydrazine. The end result is a preliminary design of a vehicle built from demilitarized booster assets that complements, rather than replaces, traditional space launch vehicles. This dissertation proves that such capabilities exist and more importantly that the resulting architecture can serve as a viable platform for immediate and affordable access to low Earth orbit.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Small-scale hybrid rocket test stand & characterization of swirl injectors

Description

Derived from the necessity to increase testing capabilities of hybrid rocket motor (HRM) propulsion systems for Daedalus Astronautics at Arizona State University, a small-scale motor and test stand were designed

Derived from the necessity to increase testing capabilities of hybrid rocket motor (HRM) propulsion systems for Daedalus Astronautics at Arizona State University, a small-scale motor and test stand were designed and developed to characterize all components of the system. The motor is designed for simple integration and setup, such that both the forward-end enclosure and end cap can be easily removed for rapid integration of components during testing. Each of the components of the motor is removable allowing for a broad range of testing capabilities. While examining injectors and their potential it is thought ideal to obtain the highest regression rates and overall motor performance possible. The oxidizer and fuel are N2O and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), respectively, due to previous experience and simplicity. The injector designs, selected for the same reasons, are designed such that they vary only in the swirl angle. This system provides the platform for characterizing the effects of varying said swirl angle on HRM performance.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Three-dimensional modeling and analysis of magnetoplasmadynamic acceleration

Description

The Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster is an electromagnetic thruster that produces a higher specific impulse than conventional chemical rockets and greater thrust densities than electrostatic thrusters, but the well-known operational limit---referred

The Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster is an electromagnetic thruster that produces a higher specific impulse than conventional chemical rockets and greater thrust densities than electrostatic thrusters, but the well-known operational limit---referred to as ``onset"---imposes a severe limitation efficiency and lifetime. This phenomenon is associated with large fluctuations in operating voltage, high rates of electrode erosion, and three-dimensional instabilities in the plasma flow-field which cannot be adequately represented by two-dimensional, axisymmetric models. Simulations of the Princeton Benchmark Thruster (PBT) were conducted using the three-dimensional version of the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code, MACH. Validation of the numerical model is partially achieved by comparison to equivalent simulations conducted using the well-established two-dimensional, axisymmetric version of MACH. Comparisons with available experimental data was subsequently performed to further validate the model and gain insights into the physical processes of MPD acceleration. Thrust, plasma voltage, and plasma flow-field predictions were calculated for the PBT operating with applied currents in the range $6.5kA < J < 23.25kA$ and mass-flow rates of $1g/s$, $3g/s$, and $6g/s$. Comparisons of performance characteristics between the two versions of the code show excellent agreement, indicating that MACH3 can be expected to be as predictive as MACH2 has demonstrated over multiple applications to MPD thrusters. Predicted thrust for operating conditions within the range which exhibited no symptoms of the onset phenomenon experimentally also showed agreement between MACH3 and experiment well within the experimental uncertainty. At operating conditions beyond such values , however, there is a discrepancy---up to $\sim20\%$---which implies that certain significant physical processes associated with onset are not currently being modeled. Such processes are also evident in the experimental total voltage data, as is evident by the characteristic ``voltage hash", but not present in predicted plasma voltage. Additionally, analysis of the predicted plasma flow-field shows no breakdown in azimuthal symmetry, which is expected to be associated with onset. This implies that perhaps certain physical processes are modeled by neither MACH2 nor MACH3; the latter indicating that such phenomenon may not be inherently three dimensional and related to the plasma---as suggested by other efforts---but rather a consequence of electrode material processes which have not been incorporated into the current models.

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Date Created
  • 2011