Preliminary Design Analysis of Regenerative Cooling for N2O/Alcohol Small Scale Liquid Rocket Engine

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Abstract

This paper presents a concept of a small scale liquid-propellant rocket engine designed in AGH Space Systems for sounding rocket. During preliminary design of thermal aspects various ways of cooling were evaluated and described. Possible issues and design approaches for ablative, radiation and regenerative cooling are raised. The authors describe available solutions. Regenerative cooling is especially concerned as it is most popular solution in bi-liquid engines, in which alcohol fuel acts as coolant and is preheated before it reaches combustion chamber. To estimate a possible temperature distribution - and thus an applicability of such a system in the engine - a mathematical model of heat transfer was developed. Unique element of said engine is its oxidizer - nitrous oxide, which have been rarely used to date. Comparison between typical LOX bi-liquids is given and major differences that affect cooling arrangement are discussed. The authors compared different combinations of coolants, fuel/oxidizer ratios etc. to optimize the temperature distribution which is a key factor for the engine performance.

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