Volume 2, 2011Progress in Propulsion Physics
|Page(s)||499 - 518|
|Published online||01 October 2012|
The performance of a boron-loaded gel-fuel ramjet
Aerospace Engineering, Technion − Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 32000, Israel
The present work focuses on the possibility of combining the advantages of ramjet propulsion with the high energetic potential of boron. However, the use of boron poses two major challenges. The first, common to all solid additives to liquid fuels is particle sedimentation and poor dispersion. This problem is solved through the use of a gel fuel. The second obstacle, specific to boron-enriched fuels, is the difficulty in realizing the full energetic potential of boron. This could be overcome by means of an aft-combustion chamber, where fuel-rich combustion products are mixed with cold bypass air. Cooling causes the gaseous boron oxide to condense and, as a consequence, the heat of evaporation trapped in the gaseous oxide is released. The merits of such a combination are assessed through its ability to power an air-to-surface missile of relatively small size, capable of delivering a large payload to over a distance of about 1000 km in short time. The paper presents a preliminary design of a ramjet missile using a gel fuel loaded with boron. The thermochemical aspects of the two-stage combustion of the fuel are considered. A comparison with a solid rocket motor (SRM) missile launched under the same conditions as the ramjet missile is made. The boron-loaded gel-fuel ramjet is found superior for this mission.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011