To decrease harmful emissions from rocket launches and create a genuine low cost launch-on-demand space infrastructure, I propose using beamed solar power energy from Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants to power the first stage of a reusable Launch Vehicle (LV).
The goal of the project is to develop an airfoil geometry that will minimize take off velocity for a SUAV.
For inaccessible locations or areas with undeveloped infrastructure, a low take off velocity is important, since it
puts less stringent demands on the operation base for the SUAV. It also means increasing the number of potential
sites the SUAV can operate out of and hence increases its mission flexibility.
The scope of the project is to develop a simulation tool to analyze a finite transformation parameter study. The project focuses on the following areas:
- Using conformal mapping to analyze and optimize Zhukovsky airfoil geometries.
- Developing a MATLAB panel method inviscid flow solver, optimized for dense data simulation.
- Identifying separation points using a wind tunnel and comparing with laminar boundary layer theory.
- Ground effects are investigated both experimentally and using the MATLAB solver
Perforated combustion chamber cooling
By forcing liquid fuel through perforations in the combustion chamber wall, the film temperature of the combustion process can be lowered dramatically. I am currently working on numerically verifying the boundary layer stability under startup conditions where the largest temperature gradients will occur. Details will be posted soon.
Based on Lutz Kayser's OTRAG (Orbital Transport und Raketen AG) concept, this launch vehicle will lower cost by mass production of Common Rocket Propulsion Units (CRPU), focusing on simplicity rather than performance to keep the cost down. I propose utilizing a non hypergolic fuel mixture to increase performance. Furthermore, a self pressurizing fuel tank could be employed to eliminate the need for additional pressurizing gas. Details on the concept can be found here