• Rocket nozzles: 75 years of research and development

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    • Keywords


      Rocket nozzle; aerodynamics; thrust; expansion ratio; nozzle contour; shock wave; method of characteristics; efficiency.

    • Abstract


      The nozzle forms a large segment of the rocket engine structure, and as a whole, the performance of a rocket largely depends upon its aerodynamic design. The principal parameters in this context are the shape of the nozzle contour and the nozzle area expansion ratio. A careful shaping of the nozzle contour can lead to ahigh gain in its performance. As a consequence of intensive research, the design and the shape of rocket nozzles have undergone a series of development over the last several decades. The notable among them are conical, bell, plug, expansion-deflection and dual bell nozzles, besides the recently developed multi nozzle grid. However, to the best of authors’ knowledge, no article has reviewed the entire group of nozzles in a systematic and comprehensive manner. This paper aims to review and bring all such development in one single frame. Thearticle mainly focuses on the aerodynamic aspects of all the rocket nozzles developed till date and summarizes the major findings covering their design, development, utilization, benefits and limitations. At the end, the futurepossibilities of development are also recommended.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
      2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati 781039, India
    • Dates

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