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UDC 532.528:621
Technical mechanics, 2022, 2, 47  58
Determination of the effect of internal and external factors on the thrust spread of a cluster propulsion system
Dolgopolov S. I.
Dolgopolov S. I.
Institute of Technical Mechanics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the State Space Agency of Ukraine
The thrust spread of a standalone rocket engine caused by external (the pressure and temperature of the
propellant components at the engine inlet) and internal (spread in the geometry and operating conditions
of the engine units and assemblies) factors is known from experimental tests or can be computed by a
known procedure. As a rule, liquidpropellant propulsion systems (LPPSs) of launch vehicle lower stages
include a cluster of several engines, whose thrust spread cannot often be determined from firing tests
due to limited capabilities of bench equipment. The aim of this work is to develop an approach to
determining the thrust spread of an LPPS comprising a cluster of two and more engines.
For a multiengine propulsion system, this methodological approach also includes the development of a
mathematical model of engine interaction in an LPPS and calculations of an LPPS startup at different
combinations of spread in the external and internal factors in cases where the parameter spreads of all
engines are both identical and different.
For an LPPS with two engines and a common oxidizer feed pipeline, the paper gives an example of calculating
the effect of external and internal factors on the thrust spread of each engine and the LPPS as a whole
during an LPPS startup. . It is shown that the calculated spread of the 90 percent thrust (combustion
chamber pressure) time lies in the range – 0.0917 s to +0.0792 s (engine 1) and –0.0941 s to +0.0618 s
(engine 2). The calculated variations of the combustion chamber pressure (engine thrust) from its nominal
value lie in the range –6.2 percent to +7.0 percent (engine 1) and 6.8 percent to +6.3 percent (engine 2).
The calculated spreads of the 90 percent thrust time and the thrust for the LPPS as a whole are far smaller
(about by 40 percent) and lie in the range – 0.0733 s to +0.0457 s for the time and – 4.8 percent to +4.8
percent for the thrust (about the nominal thrust). Using Pearson’s chisquared test, an estimate is
obtained for the goodness of fit of the anticipated theoretical distributions of the 90 percent thrust
time spread and the steady thrust spread to the obtained statistical ones both for the two engines and
for the LPPS as a whole.
liquidpropellant rocket propulsion system, engine cluster, startup, mathematical simulation,
external and internal factors, thrust spread, goodness of fit of a theoretical distribution to a statistical one
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Copyright (©) 2022 Dolgopolov S. I.
Copyright © 20142022 Technical mechanics
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