Abstract Title

Is This Plume A Drag?:The Effects of a Rocket’s Plume on the Drag Force of a Subsonic Launch Vehicle

Author Information

Amanda K. BjorklandFollow

Authors' Class Standing

Amanda Bjorkland, Senior

Lead Presenter's Name

Amanda Bjorkland

Faculty Mentor Name

Ashley Lear

Abstract

Flight data from one of Masten Space System’s reusable suborbital launch vehicles, Xombie, is analyzed from a 1000 ft. boost and descent. During descent, the vehicle enters its own exhaust plume, which is made up of expanding exhaust gases expelled from a rocket engine. Rocket plumes are difficult to model and are yet to be modeled with knowing the error. Therefore little is known about the effects on a structure when it enters this region of aerodynamic change. Masten builds unique rockets that take off and land vertically, where the rocket enters its plume when flying certain trajectories. An extensive amount of data is saved from flights which can be analyzed using software. It would be helpful to know if the drag force on a rocket decreases upon entering its exhaust plume. This study attempted to model the drag force to find changes. Whether or not the drag force changes in the plume have been inconclusive.

Location

Flight Deck

Start Date

9-4-2014 10:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM

Is This Plume A Drag?:The Effects of a Rocket’s Plume on the Drag Force of a Subsonic Launch Vehicle

Flight Deck

Flight data from one of Masten Space System’s reusable suborbital launch vehicles, Xombie, is analyzed from a 1000 ft. boost and descent. During descent, the vehicle enters its own exhaust plume, which is made up of expanding exhaust gases expelled from a rocket engine. Rocket plumes are difficult to model and are yet to be modeled with knowing the error. Therefore little is known about the effects on a structure when it enters this region of aerodynamic change. Masten builds unique rockets that take off and land vertically, where the rocket enters its plume when flying certain trajectories. An extensive amount of data is saved from flights which can be analyzed using software. It would be helpful to know if the drag force on a rocket decreases upon entering its exhaust plume. This study attempted to model the drag force to find changes. Whether or not the drag force changes in the plume have been inconclusive.