Title: Validation of a ballistic simulation tool for the characterisation of solid propellants

Authors: Hein Olthof; Angelo Cervone

Addresses: Department of Space Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands ' Department of Space Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper illustrates the development and the main features of a ballistic simulation tool for performance prediction of a solid rocket motor of given geometry and propellant properties. The main purpose of the tool is to describe with sufficient accuracy the processes that take place inside the combustion chamber, from igniter activation to motor burn out, in order to evaluate the influence of the main rocket design parameters on them. The tool, also capable of describing the ignition transient of the motor, has been successfully validated by comparing its predictions to the results obtained from tests carried out in a dedicated experimental apparatus. In particular, the validation results shown in this paper are referred to a motor working with a newly designed solid propellant, intended to be used in an amateur rocket having the aim to launch a scientific payload to a maximum altitude of 50 km.

Keywords: solid rocket motors; solid propellants; amateur rockets; ballistic simulation; space engineering; combustion chamber; igniter activation; motor burn out; rocket design parameters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2013.058847

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2013 Vol.1 No.3, pp.268 - 289

Received: 27 May 2013
Accepted: 12 Jul 2013

Published online: 24 Jan 2014 *

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