Volume 11, 2019Progress in Propulsion Physics – Volume 11
|Page(s)||91 - 130|
|Published online||08 February 2019|
Green gelled propellant highly throtteable rocket motor and gas generator technology: status and application
Bayern-Chemie GmbH P.O. Box 1131, Aschau am Inn 84544, Germany
2 DLR Institute of Space Propulsion Lampoldshausen, Langer Grund, Hardthausen 74239, Germany
Work on gel propulsion began in Germany in 1999. The German Gel Propulsion Technology (GGPT) Program started in 2001 from a white sheet of paper, proposed by the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion, Bayern-Chemie (BC), and the Fraunhofer Institute of Chemical Technology. Aim of the first phase was to develop the technology needed to build a rocket motor burning gelled propellants and to demonstrate its operability by a free flight within significantly less than a decade. The research and development activities were guided by a suitable principal concept for a gelled propellant rocket motor (GRM). Based on theoretical considerations (regarding functional aspects) and experimental pre-tests (propellant development, gelation, rheology, spraying, ignition, and combustion), a motor concept was pre-selected and the motor developed. The identified requirements were proven in December 2009 by two successful demonstration flights. The achieved know-how from basic research and technology (R+T) development has been consolidated in an application-oriented way on component level up to motor development. Within this scope, also, the goal of an effective control of the thrust by throttling the propellant mass flow rate (PMFR) while maintaining an optimum combustion chamber (CC) pressure could be achieved. This publication describes briefly several major advances in the development of the gel propulsion technology in Germany from rheology to combustor development to the thrust and pressure controller of a GRM.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.