The dual-bell nozzle is a promising concept for improving the performance of space launchers. It is characterised by the presence of two altitude-dependent working modes which allow to reduce non-adaptation losses. However, the transition between the two working modes usually takes place prematurely and dangerous side loads might be observed. In this work, fluidic control is investigated as a potential method to delay the transition and limit the risk of side loads. A launcher configuration similar to the Ariane 5 with a dual-bell nozzle in the core engine is considered. First, a parametric optimisation is performed to identify the dual-bell geometry that maximises the payload mass delivered into geostationary transfer: a preliminary model is adopted to describe the dual-bell mode transition and a fast and reliable in-house trajectory optimisation code is used to optimise the ascent trajectory. The flow field in the optimal geometry is then investigated by CFD simulations to verify the effectiveness of fluidic control. Finally, the CFD study results are used to model the dual-bell mode transition and trajectory optimisation is performed again. The proposed solution is characterised by a large payload gain (approximately 1.5 metric tons) with respect to the reference launcher. The simulations showed that fluidic control reduces the order of magnitude of side loads which can arise during transition, showing its potential as enabling technology for the application of dual-bell nozzles on real launchers.

Dual-bell nozzle with fluidic control of transition for space launchers

Conte A.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Martelli E.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022

Abstract

The dual-bell nozzle is a promising concept for improving the performance of space launchers. It is characterised by the presence of two altitude-dependent working modes which allow to reduce non-adaptation losses. However, the transition between the two working modes usually takes place prematurely and dangerous side loads might be observed. In this work, fluidic control is investigated as a potential method to delay the transition and limit the risk of side loads. A launcher configuration similar to the Ariane 5 with a dual-bell nozzle in the core engine is considered. First, a parametric optimisation is performed to identify the dual-bell geometry that maximises the payload mass delivered into geostationary transfer: a preliminary model is adopted to describe the dual-bell mode transition and a fast and reliable in-house trajectory optimisation code is used to optimise the ascent trajectory. The flow field in the optimal geometry is then investigated by CFD simulations to verify the effectiveness of fluidic control. Finally, the CFD study results are used to model the dual-bell mode transition and trajectory optimisation is performed again. The proposed solution is characterised by a large payload gain (approximately 1.5 metric tons) with respect to the reference launcher. The simulations showed that fluidic control reduces the order of magnitude of side loads which can arise during transition, showing its potential as enabling technology for the application of dual-bell nozzles on real launchers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/463440
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