Application of Taguchi methods to dual mixture ratio propulsion system optimization for SSTO vehiclesThe application of advanced technologies to future launch vehicle designs would allow the introduction of a rocket-powered, single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) launch system early in the next century. For a selected SSTO concept, a dual mixture ratio, staged combustion cycle engine that employs a number of innovative technologies was selected as the baseline propulsion system. A series of parametric trade studies are presented to optimize both a dual mixture ratio engine and a single mixture ratio engine of similar design and technology level. The effect of varying lift-off thrust-to-weight ratio, engine mode transition Mach number, mixture ratios, area ratios, and chamber pressure values on overall vehicle weight is examined. The sensitivity of the advanced SSTO vehicle to variations in each of these parameters is presented, taking into account the interaction of each of the parameters with each other. This parametric optimization and sensitivity study employs a Taguchi design method. The Taguchi method is an efficient approach for determining near-optimum design parameters using orthogonal matrices from design of experiments (DOE) theory. Using orthogonal matrices significantly reduces the number of experimental configurations to be studied. The effectiveness and limitations of the Taguchi method for propulsion/vehicle optimization studies as compared to traditional single-variable parametric trade studies is also discussed.
Stanley, Douglas O. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Unal, Resit (Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA, United States)
Joyner, C. R. (Pratt and Whitney Group West Palm Beach, FL, United States)