A note on rocket performance comparison through impulse and thrust coefficients

NV Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Comparison of rocket motor systems is important when generating data to be used in making design decisions. In order to present meaningful comparisons, non-dimensional numbers related to performance are beneficial, as they remove effects of scale. Traditionally thrust coefficients and C* have been used to quantify the aerodynamic and chemical performance of a system respectively. However, it is argued here that in fact the thrust coefficient does not fully account for aerodynamic performance, as the impact of non-uniform flow at the throat is not accounted for. This discharge coefficient is usually allocated to the chemical efficiency throughaa correction to C*. However, this causes a coupling between chemical and aerodynamic efficiencies which may lead to poor design decisions. Through the use of a specific impulse coefficient, this risk is avoided, and furthermore comparison of unconventional nozzles becomes more straightforward. It is admitted, however, that this has no actual impact on real motor performance, being more in the way of a tider 'accounting' system.
Translated title of the contributionA note on rocket performance comparison through impulse and thrust coefficients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58 - 62
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the British Interplanetary Society
Volume61, (2)
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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