F15 - Liquid Rocket Engine
Inducers and Pumps:
Design, Testing, Flow Instabilities

Organizers: A. Cervone & A. Pasini

Angelo Cervone Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Angelo Pasini University of Pisa, Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering - Aerospace Division, Italy


In space propulsion, propellant feed turbopumps are a crucial component of primary propulsion concepts powered by liquid propellant rocket engines. However, severe limitations are associated with the design of high power density, dynamically stable machines capable of meeting the extremely demanding suction, pumping and reliability requirements of current space transportation systems. The quest for weight leads to the design of faster and lighter t propellant turbopumps, often operated at supercritical conditions where rotordynamic instabilities and cavitation become especially important. Axial inducers are typically used in order to avoid unacceptable cavitation in the centrifugal stage of the pump, and operated under cavitating conditions which can cause blade erosion, head performance decrease and the onset of flow instabilities.

Non-exhaustive list of suggested Topics:

- Design and modeling of liquid rocket engine pumps (axial, centrifugal, mixed-flow)

- Experimental characterization of pumping and suction performance of rocket engine pumps

- High-speed flow visualization and other optical techniques for cavitation characterization in inducers and pumps

- Thermal cavitation effects and their scaling

- Experimental characterization of cavitation flow instabilities in inducers and pumps

- Rotordynamic forces and instabilities in liquid rocket engine pumps

- Dynamic transfer function of cavitating inducers and pumps

- Scaling of cavitating forces and inducer structural modes

- Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling of cavitating pumps and flow instabilities

- High- and very high-frequency flow instability modes in cavitating inducers

- New facilities and innovative experimental techniques for the characterization of the performance and flow instabilities in rocket engine pumps