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AFRL's ALREST Physics-Based Combustion Stability Program
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA AEROSPACE SYSTEMS DIRECTORATE
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Combustion instabilities have been observed in nearly every major liquid rocket engine development effort, including the most recent development programs. They are caused by the coupling of the natural acoustic modes of the combustion chamber with the dynamics of the combustion heat release and can lead to catastrophic damage of the internal components of the rocket engine. Rayleighs criterion states that combustion instabilities are driven when the pressure waves and the heat release are in phase and that the instabilities are damped when they are out of phase. Despite the simplicity of this relationship, the prediction of the occurrence of combustion instabilities has proven to be an enduring challenge because of the inherent complexities in the physics of multiphase turbulent flames. The present paper provides the Air Force Research Lab AFRLs vision and strategy for combustor design tools that can predict combustion stability to help guide the development of the USs next generation liquid rocket engines.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE