Wind Tunnel Tests of Influence of Boosters and Fins on Aerodynamic Characteristics of the Experimental Rocket Platform

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Abstract

The paper presents results of wind tunnel tests of the Experimental Rocket Platform (ERP), which is developed in Institute of Aviation. It is designed as an easy accessible and affordable platform for microgravity experiments. Proposed design enables to perform experiments in microgravity for almost 150 seconds with apogee of about 100 km.

The full-scale model of the ERP has been investigated in the T-3 wind tunnel in Institute of Aviation. During the investigation, the aerodynamic loads of the rocket has been measured for the angle of attack up to 10° and the different rotation angle around the longitudinal axis (up to 90°, depending on the configuration). Three configurations has been investigated:

• without fins and boosters

• with fins and without boosters

• with fins and boosters

Additionally, the measurements of velocity field around the ERP using the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) has been performed.

Based on the wind tunnel test, an influence of fins and boosters on aerodynamic characteristics of the rocket has been described. Results of the wind tunnel tests show relatively high contribution of boosters in total aerodynamic drag. Some conclusions concerning performance and stability of the rocket have been presented.

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