This paper provides an overview of results generated by the static test expansion–deflection rocket nozzle (STERN) project. The engine propellants were gaseous air and hydrogen, with a design chamber pressure and thrust of 102 bar and 5 kN respectively. The maximum chamber pressure achieved was restricted to 55 bar absolute, due to a conservative approach in the test programme dictated by the uncertainty in heat transfer to the pintle. Despite this, the programme achieved many successes, including the first tests of an ED nozzle in the UK; the production of significant amounts of data for both the analysis of the performance of the nozzle and the verification of analysis codes; and an improved compensation performance over that apparent from earlier work, including demonstration of attached flow to the exit plane for all chamber pressures. Whilst the wake pressure was not as high as hoped, ranging between 70% and 95% of ambient and apparently inversely related to chamber pressure, this result is still sufficiently encouraging to warrant further investigation of the type. As importantly, the data derived from the experiments, including performance analysis and wall pressure variations in time and space, are now being made available to the wider academic community, something which for commercial reasons appears to be a unique occurrence for this type of nozzle.
Bibliographical notePublisher: Elsevier
Other: In Press