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Record Details

Record 1 of 38477
Laser Ignition Technology for Bi-Propellant Rocket Engine Applications
Author and Affiliation:
Thomas, Matthew E.(CFD Research Corp., Huntsville, AL United States)
Bossard, John A.(CFD Research Corp., Huntsville, AL United States)
Early, Jim(Los Alamos National Lab., NM United States)
Trinh, Huu(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL United States)
Dennis, Jay(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL United States)
Turner, James [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: The fiber optically coupled laser ignition approach summarized is under consideration for use in igniting bi-propellant rocket thrust chambers. This laser ignition approach is based on a novel dual pulse format capable of effectively increasing laser generated plasma life times up to 1000 % over conventional laser ignition methods. In the dual-pulse format tinder consideration here an initial laser pulse is used to generate a small plasma kernel. A second laser pulse that effectively irradiates the plasma kernel follows this pulse. Energy transfer into the kernel is much more efficient because of its absorption characteristics thereby allowing the kernel to develop into a much more effective ignition source for subsequent combustion processes. In this research effort both single and dual-pulse formats were evaluated in a small testbed rocket thrust chamber. The rocket chamber was designed to evaluate several bipropellant combinations. Optical access to the chamber was provided through small sapphire windows. Test results from gaseous oxygen (GOx) and RP-1 propellants are presented here. Several variables were evaluated during the test program, including spark location, pulse timing, and relative pulse energy. These variables were evaluated in an effort to identify the conditions in which laser ignition of bi-propellants is feasible. Preliminary results and analysis indicate that this laser ignition approach may provide superior ignition performance relative to squib and torch igniters, while simultaneously eliminating some of the logistical issues associated with these systems. Further research focused on enhancing the system robustness, multiplexing, and window durability/cleaning and fiber optic enhancements is in progress.
Publication Date: Dec 05, 2001
Document ID:
20020051003
(Acquired Jun 28, 2002)
Subject Category: SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: JANNAF CS/APS/PSHS/MSS Joint Meeting; 8-12 Apr. 2002; Destin, FL; United States
Meeting Sponsor: Department of the Army; Washington, DC United States
Department of the Navy; United States
NASA; Washington, DC United States
Department of the Air Force; United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NASA Order H-34408-D
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
CFD Research Corp.; Huntsville, AL United States
Description: 3p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: IGNITION; LASERS; ROCKET ENGINES; COMBUSTION PHYSICS; LIQUID ROCKET PROPELLANTS; FIBER OPTICS; OXYGEN; DURABILITY; PLASMAS (PHYSICS); ROCKET THRUST
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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