chapter  30
12 Pages

CHEMICAL PROPULSION: WHAT IS IN THE HORIZON?

CHEMICAL PROPULSION: WHAT IS IN THE HORIZON?

G.D. Roy

30.1 INTRODUCTION

Propulsion research has progressed steadily and well along focussed avenues

during the past several decades. The outstanding contributions by talented

researchers in the combustion discipline have led to the unprecedented fuel econ-

omy, reliability, and safety of the propulsion engines of today. Whereas funda-

mental problems in combustion related to propulsion are being solved at labora-

tories (in universities and industry), innovative systems are made commercially

available. Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations lead to design

optimizations that would otherwise involve heavy capital investment and long

development times. Advances in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and in

computational hardware led to a new frontier in numerical simulation and pre-

diction of combustion phenomena through Computational Combustion Dynam-

ics (CCD). The advent of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology,

diode lasers, miniature sensors, controls, and diagnostics makes it possible to

control combustion starting at the fuel tank all the way to the exhaust pipe. To-

day's combustion researcher, developer, and designer have extremely powerful

tools at hand.