Numerical Simulation of Entrainment and Recirculating flow at the Base of a Truncated Aerospike Nozzle with Supplementary Base Flow
The aerospike nozzle belongs to the class of altitude compensating nozzles making it a strong candidate for Space Shuttle Main Engines. Owing to their higher efficiency compared to conventional bell nozzles, the aerospike nozzles are being studied extensively and are being used for many Single State to Orbit (SSTO) designs. A rocket engine nozzle with altitude compensation, such as the aerospike, consumes less fuel than a rocket engine with a bell nozzle. Aerospike nozzles are huge and are often difficult to construct and have to be truncated in order to make them feasible for application in a rocket propulsion system. Consequently, truncation of the aerospike leads to pressure loss under the base, which in-turn decreases the overall thrust produced by the rocket nozzle. To overcome this loss, a technique called base bleed is implemented in which a secondary jet is made to flow through the base of the truncated portion. This thesis uses dynamic pressure contour plots to find out the ideal base bleed mass flow rate to avoid base recirculation in 10 %, 20 % and 30 % truncated aerospike nozzles.