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Numerical study of gaseous reactive flow over a ram accelerator projectile in subdetonative velocity regime

  • T. Bengherbia (a1) (a2), Y. F. Yao (a2), P. Bauer (a1) and C. Knowlen (a3)

Abstract

Computational fluid dynamics solutions of the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations have been used to numerically predict the thrust of a thermally choked ram accelerator in subdetonative velocity regime. Studies were focused on a projectile operating in a 38-mm-diameter ram accelerator tube loaded with premixed propellant gas; methane/oxygen/nitrogen at 5.15 MPa fill pressure. Simulations were carried out for a series of incoming velocities. The shear stress transport turbulence model (SST) and the eddy dissipation combustion model (EDM) with five-step reaction mechanism were used to simulate the fully turbulent reactive flow field around the projectile. The predicted projectile thrust-velocity agreed well with the experimental measurements, in addition, the CFD predicted pressure variation and magnitude along projectile axial direction also agreed well with the test data. The present investigation reveals some key features of the shock-wave system around the projectile, which are important in determining the characteristics of the thermally choked propulsive mode. These findings are useful in understanding the characteristics of high speed turbulent combustion process in the ram accelerator.

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