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THE OPTIMIZATION OF NOZZLE AREA RATIO FOR ROCKETS OPERATING IN A VACUUM,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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The correct choice of nozzle area ratio should be considered in rocket-powered missiles even when intended to operate at high altitudes, where ambient pressure may be neglected. Under such conditions, specific impulse of the propellant increases monotonically with increasing area ratio exit areathroat area, but the increased weight of larger nozzles degrades performance. Hence an optimum area ratio can be sought which will provide maximum performance for the stage in question. Gains in stage velocity increment due to correct choice of area ratio are usually only a few percent, which may be of importance in some applications. The investigation resulted in a linearized analytic approach to the problem of calculating the optimum area ratio, and design charts are presented. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE