Traditional rocket engines require the use of cooling methods in order to prevent system failure through the melting of the engine material. Regenerative cooling, the traditional form of engine coolin..
Traditional rocket engines require the use of cooling methods in order to prevent system failure through the melting of the engine material. Regenerative cooling, the traditional form of engine cooling, adds weight and ultimately cost to the already complex engine. The Vortex Induced Propulsion Experimental Rocket (VIPER) project, associated with Embry-Riddle's American Insitute of Aeronautics and Astronautics division, is designing a bi-propellent liquid rocket engine that will not require standard methods of cooling. A swirling combustion process is obtained through unique injection of ethanol (fuel) and nitrous oxide (oxidizer) into the combustion chamber. The swirl field centralizes the intense temperatures of combustion towards the vertical axis of the combustion chamber and creates a boundary layer of cooler gas at the engine wall. This leads to the engine walls maintaining a temperature below critical proven using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in ANSYS. With these preliminary results, only the throat of the engine will require regenerative cooling and will be accomplished through the circulation of the oxidizer. Further CFD runs utilizing multi-phase conditions will have to be performed to better simulate actual engine operating conditions. CFD results will be verified using cold flow testing where flow geometry can be recorded and analyzed. Refinement of these results will lead to an efficient and sustainable method of cooling, built for use on reusable rockets in an ever-growing, fast-paced aerospace industry.