Progress in Propulsion Physics Volume 1

Volume presentation

Progress in Propulsion Physics Volume 1 contains 44 revised and edited papers addressing various issues of propulsion physics written by world-known experts. The papers include critical analyses of previous studies and controversial aspects of novel propulsion concepts, new theoretical and experimental results and findings as well as numerous references to archival publications worldwide. The volume is organized in 8 chapters:

  1. Solid Rocket Propulsion;
  2. Liquid and Gelled Rocket Propulsion;
  3. Fluid/Structure Interactions in Space/Launch Vehicles;
  4. Pulsed/Continuous Detonation Propulsion;
  5. Electric Propulsion for Spacecrafts;
  6. Airbreathing, Turbomachinery, and LAPCAT;
  7. Ceramic Matrix Composites for Aerospace Applications; and
  8. Engine Health Monitoring.

The volume was prepared as a reference for research scientists and practicing engineers in the field of aerospace propulsion.

EUCASS: the association

The European Conferences for AeroSpace Sciences, Eucass (, is a nonprofit association established in 2006 to stimulate the development of pure and applied aerospace sciences in Europe. The purposes of Eucass are scientific, technical, and educational. The association focuses on forefront science and cutting-edge technologies. It is at the service of Academia, Industry, Agencies, and other decision makers, by fostering communication and cooperation among them in order to reduce the time to market of innovation. The association is further helping young scientists to find internships outside their country of origin and supplies information on mobility and job opportunities.

The base of Eucass is European and includes Russia. Members from all other countries are welcome. Today, the association counts in excess of 500 members from over 30 different countries. It is a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and is in the process of networking with European disciplinary associations Eccomas (European Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences), Ercoftac (European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence And Combustion), EUROMECH (European Mechanics Society), and Euroturbo (European Turbomachinery Conference) as well as with CEAS (the Council of European Aerospace Societies).

Among its notable activities, EUCASS has already organized two major first ever conferences each attended by over 500 participants:
Moscow (July 2005) co-organized by ONERA and TsAGI with partial op-erational support from AAAF and the Russian Academy of Sciences;
Brussels (July 2007) co-organized by ULB and VKI.

It has also launched a series of high level Aerospace Thematic Workshops dedicated to fundamental topics of great potential for aerospace applications, like that on flow and combustion control by plasmas held in May 2007 at Varenna, Italy.

The association's mission is not limited to organizing its biennial conferences and workshops. One of its fundamental tasks is also to publish high quality monographs in the form of a Book Series compiling the best scientific works presented.


Luigi T. DeLuca, Professor of Aerospace Propulsion at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, leads the local SPLab laboratory specialized in combustion and ballistic characterization of energetic materials. He gained 30 years of experience in solid and hybrid rocket propulsion, is a member of the editorial committee of several international journals, and co-edited 8 books in rocket propulsion.

Christophe Bonnal, involved in launcher development for more than 25 years, has been responsible for Ariane 5 systems tests then head of future launchers in CNES; he is currently Senior Expert in the CNES Launcher Directorate. Member of the International Acadely of Astronautics, coordinator of the Space Transportation Committee within the Internationlal Astrinautical federation, coeditor of Acta Astronautica, Christophe Bonnal is General Secretary of the EUCASS association.

Oskar J. Haidn, since 1998 Deputy Director Research and Technology of DLR Institute of Space Propulsion in Lampoldshausen, heads the local Department of Technology whose activities cover all major topics of thrust chamber technologies of liquid propellant rocket engines. He holds several patents in the field and is author and coauthor of more than 150 journal articles and conference contributions.

Sergey M. Frolov, PhD, D.SC., is the Head of Department of Combustion and Explosion at Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, and Professor at Moscow Physical Engineering Institute. He is an active research scientist in combustion and detonation physics and chemistry, an author of over 400 journal and conference papers and an editor of over 20 books.


This first volume of the EUCASS Book Series on Advances in Aerospace Sciences is dedicated to Propulsion Physics and includes a collection of the best papers presented at the 2nd European Conference for Aerospace Sciences held in Brussels, Belgium, July 01-06, 2007. About 1/3 of the total number of papers accepted for presentation at the conference was later selected by the volume editors and successively edited by an international body of peer reviewers. The current book is the product of this long review process.

Efforts were accomplished to make the EUCASS conference results readily and easily available to a wide range of international readers. Yet, all technical facts, from paper presentations to written diffusion of results, are carried out under highly professional standards. The attendance of worldwide renowned speakers and timeliness of the session topics prove the effectiveness and success of the EUCASS initiatives.

The final selection of the topics as well as the contributions to this book are based on the philosophy that important issues of aerospace science and technology have to be covered and that both timeliness and originality of each individual contribution are guaranteed. A rigorous review process involving renowned experts in the different fields assured the high standard of each chapter.

The volume includes eight chapters covering most of the traditional aspects in aerospace propulsion as well as several innovative ones:

  • Chapter One: Solid Rocket Propulsion;
  • Chapter Two: Liquid and Gelled Rocket Propulsion;
  • Chapter Three: Fluid/Structure Interactions in Space/Launch Vehicles;
  • Chapter Four: Pulsed/Continuous Detonation Propulsion;
  • Chapter Five: Electric Propulsion for Spacecraft;
  • Chapter Six: Airbreathing, Turbomachinery, and LAPCAT;
  • Chapter Seven: Ceramic Matrix Composites for Aerospace Applications;
  • Chapter Eight: Engine Health Monitoring.

The large number of contributions in the solid propulsion chapter clearly indicates the dynamic in this field which stems from launcher, in-space, and missile propulsion applications. While the majority of the contributions deal with metal burning, in particular, nanoaluminum, and environmentally friendly formulations, the fundamental aspects of composite propellant modeling and radiant ignition were also treated.

In liquid propulsion, all typical phenomena such as injection, ignition, combustion, heat transfer, and combustion stability are covered, with reference mainly to cryogenic bipropellants. However, two contributions which discuss various effects of gelled propulsion demonstrate the new interest such propellants have seen recently.

Rising interest in exploration and propulsion system being capable of multiple ignition is represented with contributions discussing fluid/structure interaction and, particularly, the behavior of a liquid propellant in a tank.

Contributions which present the most recent results from research into pulsed and continuous detonation propulsion systems demonstrate that this exciting new technology has made great progress and will see flight applications soon.

Conventional Hall thrusters but also novel propulsion concepts such as microdischarge, hybrid, and microwave thrusters are discussed in the electric propulsion chapter.

In the air-breathing chapter, supersonic propulsion dominates with an overview of the EU-LAPCAT program on supersonic civil transport research efforts. However, aspects of reusable launch vehicles, combined cycle concepts, micro gas turbines and turbomachinery are discussed as well.

While ceramic matrix composites have until recently only been thought applicable in aeronautic applications, the contributions report results towards attempts to realize the advantages of reduced weight and increased thermal resistance also in liquid propellant rocket engine applications.

The importance of system and component reliability is stressed by the contributions in the engine health monitoring chapter looking, in particular, into a novel algorithm of engine condition monitoring and nonintrusive diagnostics of components exposed to high temperatures.


This edited collection of 44 papers was presented at the 2nd European Conference for Aerospace Sciences held in Brussels, Belgium, July 01-06, 2007. It is our pleasure to thank for their valuable and patient support:

  • members of the Organizing Committee;
  • members of the International Advisory Committee; and
  • all conference participants including speakers, observers, and session chairs.

Special thanks are due to our sponsors, without which the 2007 conference would not have taken place: International Science and Technology Center (ISTC); European Space Agency (ESA); Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales (ONERA) and TsAGI; Safran, Techspace Aero; Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales (CNES); Numeca; and Cenaero for providing financial and moral support.

We are also particularly grateful to two sponsors for their support to the book preparation:

  • International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), for covering the editorial work of TORUS PRESS;
  • Safran for covering the printing costs.

The present book would not have been possible without the support and careful work of the international college of reviewers purposely nominated for this task. The quality of any scientific book is largely due to the will of reviewers to share their expertise and knowledge with colleagues from all over the world. As a minor token of the editors appreciation for their diligence and work, the names of all contributing reviewers are listed hereafter:

William Anderson (USA)
Dana Andrews (USA)
Alice I. Atwood (USA)
Valery A. Babuk (Russia)
André Beaurain (France)
Ivan Bekey (USA)
Nicolas Bérend (France)
Luca Boccaletto (France)
Thom Boggs (USA)
Alan Bond (UK)
Christophe Bonhomme (France)
Claudio Bruno (Italy)
Michel Buchwalter (Germany)
Anne Cadiou (France)
Max Calabro (France)
Osvaldo Campanella (USA)
Nicolas Carrère (France)
Leonard H. Caveny (USA)
Nathalie Cesco (France)
Elisa Cliquet (France)
Bernard Desmet (France)
Michel Dudeck (France)
Peter Erichsen (Sweden)
Debra Facktor-Lepore (USA)
François Falempin (France)
Pascal Fortunier (France)
Octavia Frota (Portugal)
Oleg Glotov (Russia)
Nick Glumac (USA)
Josef Görgen (Germany)
Oleg Gorshkov (Russia)
Alexander Gromov (Russia)
Michel Gruslin (Belgium)
Mohammed Habiballah (France)
Stephen Heister (USA)
Patrick Hendrick (Belgium)
Alessandra Iannetti (France)
Charles Kappenstein (France)
Vladimir Kim (Russia)
Paul Kuentzmann (France)
Renaud Lecourt (France)
Peter Lee (UK)
David Lempert (Russia)
José Longo (Germany)
Agnes Luc (France)
George Manelis (Russia)
Stéphane Mazoufre (France)
Hugh McSpadden (USA)
Chuck Merkle (USA)
Claude Merrill (USA)
Philippe Novelli (France)
Michael Oschwald (Germany)
Bryan A. Palaszewski (USA)
Gary Popov (Russia)
Benoît Pouffary (France)
Geoff Searby (France)
Valery Sinditskii (Russia)
Martin Sippel (Germany)
Nadezdha Slavinskaya (Germany)
Alain Souchier (France)
Christophe Talbot (France)
Marie Théron (France)
Jean-François Trubert (France)
Philip L. Varghese (USA)
Bruno Vieille (France)
R.H. Woodward Waesche (USA)
Niklas Wingborg (Sweden)
Vigor Yang (USA)
Vladimir E. Zarko (Russia)
Wilke Zeiss (Germany)
Victor Zhukov (Germany)

This volume is the outcome of hard work of the staff of TORUS PRESS Publishers ( and their valuable contribution is appreciated. We sincerely wish that this joint international effort will help all readers to gain a better understanding of aerospace propulsion, and to further appreciate and widen the fascinating horizons of the aerospace world.

July 2008, The Volume Editors

Citing a paper

The way to cite a paper published in Progress in Propulsion Physics volume 1 is the following: author(s), title of the article, in Progress in Propulsion Physics vol.1 [number of the article], edited by L. DeLuca, C. Bonnal, O. Haidn and S. Frolov, published by EDP Sciences (, [DOI of the article].