Development of a Facility for Combustion Stability Experiments at Supercritical Pressure
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA AEROSPACE SYSTEMS DIRECTORATE
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Combustion instability in liquid rocket engines can have severe consequences including degraded performance, accelerated component wear, and potentially catastrophic failure. High-frequency instabilities, which are generally the most harmful in liquid rocket engines, can be driven by interactions between disturbances associated with transverse acoustic resonances and the combustion process. The combustion response to acoustic perturbation is a critical component of the instability mechanism, and is in general not well understood. The current paper describes an experimental facility at the Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL at Edwards Air Force Base that is intended to investigate the coupling between transverse acoustic resonances and singlemultiple liquid rocket engine injector flames. Critical aspects of the facility will be described, including the capability to operate at supercritical pressures that are relevant to high-performance liquid rocket engines, accurately-controlled and cryogenically-conditioned propellants, and optical access to facilitate the use of advanced diagnostics. The transverse acoustic resonance is induced through the use of carefully-controlled piezo-sirens, allowing monochromatic excitation across a range of amplitudes at a number of discrete frequencies. The location of the flame within the acoustic resonance mode shape can also be varied through relative phase control of the two acoustic sources. The operating space of the facility, for oxygen and hydrogen operation, will be described. Preliminary non-reacting and reacting data will also be presented to demonstrate the quality of operation of this facility. It is anticipated that future results generated using this facility will provide both fundamental insight into the acoustic-flame interactions as well as provide a database useful for validating combustion instability models.
- Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines