Advanced oxygen-hydrocarbon Earth-to-orbit propulsionLiquid oxygen/hydrocarbon (LO2/HC) rocket engine cycles for a surface to orbit transportation system were evaluated. A consistent engine system data base is established for defining advantages and disadvantages, system performance and operating limits, engine parametric data, and technology requirements for candidate engine systems. Preliminary comparisons of the engine cycles utilizing delivered specific impulse values are presented. Methane and propane staged combustion cycles are the highest LO2/HC performers. The hydrogen cooled LO2/methane dual throat engine was found to be the highest performing. Technology needs identified in the study include: high temperature turbines; oxidizer-rich preburners; LO2, methane, and propane cooling; methane and propane fuel-rich preburners; the HC fuel turbopump; and application of advanced composite materials to the engine system. Parametric sensitivity analysis data are displayed which show the effect of variations in engine thrust, mixture ratio, chamber pressure, area ratio, cycle life, and turbine inlet temperature on specific impulse and engine weight.
Obrien, C. J. (Aerojet Liquid Rocket Co. Sacramento, CA, United States)
August 10, 2013
May 1, 1981
Publication: APL The 1981 JANNAF Propulsion Meeting, Vol. 1