Analysis of Heat Transfer in a Supersonic Rocket Head

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Design of supersonic H1 rocket by the Rocketry Group of Students’ Space Association (SR SKA) requires an analysis of thermal phenomena occurring in the elements particularly exposed to the high temperature gas. This paper contains a description of the methodology and the results of numerical simulation of heat transfer in the elements of the rocket head. The starting points were the flight conditions (3 characteristic points defined by altitude and Mach number) and independently calculated adiabatic temperature field of the gas. ANSYS Fluent code was used to determine the temperature field on the surface of the rocket. Computed cases were viscous and inviscid flow (for comparison). Based on the results formulated for the viscous case heat transfer boundary conditions, the numerical model and the thermophysical properties of materials were defined. The model was limited to a brass top part of the head and a part of a composite dome. Analytical and empirical method of “intermediate enthalpy” determined distribution of the heat transfer coefficient on the rocket surface. Then the transient heat transfer was calculated with the ANSYS system. It included the range from the rocket launch, moment of maximum Mach number to sufficient structure cooling. The results of the analyses were conclusions relevant to the further development work. Excessive heating of composite structures during the flight has been shown.

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