Anda di halaman 1dari 25


Computational Analysis of a Rocket Motor Thrust Control Unit

David R. Gonzlez
Indian Head Division, NSWC Propulsion Branch, Code E313K 301.744.1513

Christopher Hovland
Indian Head Division, NSWC Propulsion Branch, Code E313O 301.744.6719

Distribution A: Approved for Public Release

System Overview Analysis Objective Analysis Approach
Solid Model Development Computational Fluid Dynamics Model

Thrust Tab Surface Parameters Flow Visualizations

Closing Remarks

System Overview
Nulka Active Decoy
Provides rapid response against a wide array of anti-ship missiles. Capable of achieving accurate placement to provide the most effective coverage. Emulates the radar signature of cruisersize ships. Very unique flight envelope to achieve the hovering flight.
Thrust Control Unit attached aft of the nozzle to both position the unit and keep it stationary.

Stringent performance characteristics must be achieved.

Analysis Objective
Gain a better understanding of TCU behavior. Several unexpected performance trends have been evident in static firings over the course of the years:
1. 2. 3. Slow Thrust Control Unit (TCU) tab response times; Reduced spoilage levels; & Thrust spoilage level reductions throughout a motor firing.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses will be conducted to investigate possible contributors.

Low Thrust Spoilage and Spoilage Reduction vs. Time.

Analysis Approach
Solid Model Development
Simplified geometry
Nominal drawing dimensions TCU Motor; Extender Pins; etc.

Several components ignored

Deflector/ Heat Shield



Tab Hinge
Nulka Propulsion Unit Nulka Derived Solid Model

Analysis Approach
Computational Fluid Dynamics Model
Domain of interest must be broken into small, discrete elements (computational mesh). Domain includes:
1. Solid model geometry (solid surfaces); & 2. Fluid domain.

Individual models must be built for each insertion configuration of interest. Two software have been used both for model verification and for the analysis of different TCU dynamics:
1. Full, 360 circumferential model (includes all 3 thrust tabs) using Fluent; & 2. 120 circumferential symmetry model (only 1 thrust tab) using AVUS.

These are discussed in the following slides.

Analysis Approach
Computational Fluid Dynamics Model
Initial version (used for model verification)
1. 2. Truncated thrust tabs; No chassis towers included. Full, solid model geometry

TCU Performance Study version


CFD Model used for Verification Full-geometry CFD Model

Analysis Approach
Computational Fluid Dynamics Model
120-Symmetry model. Includes a single thrust tab (full solid model geometry). Can only be used to account for symmetric insertions

Symmetry Lines

120 Symmetry Model Rocket motor case not pictured.

Analysis Approach
Computational Fluid Dynamics Model
Positive Tab Moment = Tab Tendency to Extract (insert further into efflux; left figure). Tab Surface Pressures and Temperatures measured along face centerline from bottom up (right figure).

Positive Tab Arm Moment

Analysis Approach
Computational Fluid Dynamics Model
Predicted Results
1. Axial thrust / Thrust spoilage; 2. Forces & Moments
Tab Face / Tab Arm Contributions; Pressure and Viscous Components; Etc. Along tab face. CP used as measure of Mach disk location. Along tab face. Temperature contours shown for remainder of tab geometry.
Very difficult (near impossible) to instrument a motor to collect these measurements. Readily measured in static firings.

3. Surface Pressures & CP

4. Surface Temperatures

LAT Data Points Simulated
Two sets of PU LAT firing data provided for model verification.
Firing A (cold-conditioned motor; low pressure); Firing B (hot-conditioned motor; high pressure).
Thrust-Time History
Test Firing Data

Firing A Firing B

Data points chosen for strategic value in demonstrating different aspects of TCU performance: Firing A (low pressure)
1. Ballistic performance (thrust retracted); Full tab insertion; Asymmetric tab insertion Full tab insertion.


2. 3.

4 2

Firing B (high pressure)


CFD conducted using Fluent, except 1.


Thrust Predictions
Key Findings:
Ballistic thrust levels were predicted with great accuracy; CFD predicted higher levels of thrust spoilage than observed in LAT; CFD aptly captures the flow physics (verified by good agreement with thrust levels).
Thrust-Time History
Firing A Test Data

Thrust-Time History
Firing B Test Data

Firing A Corrected Thrust Firinig A Max Spoilage Limit CFD

Firing B Corrected Thrust Firing B CFD





Surface Pressures
Tab Surface Pressures (Click for tab surface pressure visualizations)
Key Findings:
1. 2. 3. Mach disk imposes almost a constant pressure level on inserted portion of tab face; Max pressure for all insertions corresponded to oblique shock impingement point; Pressures levels before and after oblique shock impingement in the asymmetric insertion are reduced because of the lack of shock convergence.
R1 Surface Pressures

Full, Lo P Full, Hi P Asym, Lo P



Centers-of-Pressure (Click for tabular results)
Key Findings:
1. 2. 3. Full symmetric insertions (low and high pressure) had almost identical CP placements (owing to the near identical surface pressure profile); CP located below hinge line at the full symmetric insertions, generating the positive moments; Since oblique shock impingement is the biggest source of pressure on the asymmetric insertion, CP for this case is located further up the tab, creating a negative moment.

Full, Lo P Full, Hi P Asym, Lo P

Color contours DO NOT reflect any data relevant to the CP data being presented. They are meant as a means to distinguish the tab face from the rest of the geometry.

Surface Temperatures
Tab Surface Temperatures (Click for visualizations of temperature around thrust tabs)
Key Findings:
1. 2. Full chamber temperature recovered on all inserted tabs; Temperatures peaked in regions not exposed to high pressures in symmetric insertions. These were found to be due to the accelerating flow between the tab and nozzle , generating reduced gas densities
(Click to view profile).

Tab Surface Temperatures





13.6 mm - Lo P 13.6 mm - Hi P 12.5 mm - R1 12.5 mm - R2

Temperature (K)


Asymmetric tab experiences slightly higher temperatures at the bottom of the tab face; Elevated temperatures found on retracted tabs due to thrust vectoring.




0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Distance (mm)

Mach Iso-Surfaces
Exhaust Plume Visualizations

Mach Contours Along Centerline (Retracted Tabs).

Mach 1 & 2 Iso-Surfaces for Full Insertion @ Low Pressure.

Mach 1 & 2 Iso-Surfaces for Full Insertion @ High Pressure.

Mach 1 & 2 Iso-Surfaces for Asymmetric Insertion @ Low Pressure.

Mach Disk Location
Predicted Mach Disk

Concluding Remarks
Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models have been shown to correctly predict the complicated flow physics of the Thrust Control Unit.
Two versions were developed that made use of simplified geometry.
1. 2. Full circumferential model (incorporating all 3 tabs); & 120 symmetry model (single tab incorporated).

CFD models allow for the study of parameters not easily obtained in experimental setups, including:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Tab forces and moments; Tab surface pressures; Tab surface temperatures; Mach disk location; Etc.

Thrust/Spoilage can also be predicted.

Concluding Remarks
Axial thrust and thrust spoilage magnitudes were found to agree well with FSEDspecified levels. Moment magnitudes were found to be comparable to those predicted by the current performance model.
Tab arms were found to have significant contributions to total moment magnitudes; Current performance model neglects the tab arm contribution.

Tab face surface temperatures were found to be around the magnitude of the combustion chamber.
Majority of tab arm was predicted to be at or around atmospheric temperature; At full insertion, accelerated flow between tab face and nozzle was at higher temperature than at the surface exposed to efflux due to the reduced density; Lower insertions did not exhibit a similar behavior.

Concluding Remarks
FY09 work will focus on continuing the systematic analysis of the TCU. This will include:
1. 2. 3. Further TCU performance characterization at high pressure extreme; Asymmetric insertions; & Spoilage sensitivities.

Performance trends and TCU responses identified from these series of investigations can later be incorporated into available performance models.

Backup Slides

Results - Backup
Model Verification Runs
Thrust Tab Face Surface Pressures (Back to main presentation)

Full Insertion @ Low Pressure.

Full Insertion @ High Pressure.

Asymm. Insertion @ Low Pressure.

Results - Backup
Model Verification Runs
Thrust Tab Surface Temperature Contours (Back to main presentation)

Symmetric Insertion Temperature Contours: (l) Lo P; (r) Hi P.

Asymmetric Insertion Temperature Contours: (l) R1; (r) R3.

Results - Backup
Model Verification Runs
Temperatures Between Nozzle & Tab for Max. Symmetric Insertion (Back to main presentation)
Gas Density on Tab Surface

For a Perfect Gas:


p R

p = atmospheric pressure;

R = the gas constant.

Full - Lo P


Flow Entrainment Visuals