Progress in propulsion physics - Volume 11

Volume presentation

The book contains 37 selected, revised, and thoroughly 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 book is organized in 5 chapters: (1) Hybrid and Solid Rocket Propulsion; (2) Liquid Rocket Propulsion: Numerical Modeling; (3) Liquid Rocket Propulsion: Experimental Investigations; (4) Nozzles, Tanks, and Turbopumps; and (5) Airbreathing Propulsion.

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

EUCASS: The Association

The European Conference for Aero-Space Sciences, EUCASS is a nonprofit international association established in Belgium. It was founded in July 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 the market for innovations. The association helps young scientists to find internships outside their countries of origin and supplies information on mobility and job opportunities. Last, it promotes a much-needed dialog between researchers and the governing bodies of Europe.

The base of EUCASS is the European Continent, Russia included. Members from all other countries are welcome. Today, the association counts in excess of 600 members from over 30 different countries. It is a member of the Interna- tional Astronautical Association (IAF) and is partnering with European disci- plinary associations ECCOMAS, ERCOFTAC, EUROMECH, EUROTURBO, and CEAS, the Council of European Aerospace Societies.

Among its notable activities, the EUCASS team has already organized six major first-ever conferences each attended by over 500 participants:

  • Moscow (July 2005) co-organized by ONERA and TsAGI with partial operational support from AAAF and the Russian Academy of Sciences;
  • Brussels (July 2007) co-organized by ULB and VKI;
  • Versailles (July 2009) organized by the ASTECH Cluster;
  • St. Petersburg (July 2011) jointly organized by TORUS PRESS and N.N. Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
  • Munich (July 2013) co-organized by Technical University Munich and Astrium; and
  • Krakow (June-July 2015) co-organized by Polish Space Agency and Carte Blanche.

Each conference included several parallel symposia, such as System Integration, Flight Physics, Flight Dynamics, Structures and Materials, and Propulsion Physics. In the organization of the above conferences, great attention was always paid to transdisciplinarity and to cross-fertilization between activities and between applications of any given technology to space and to aeronautics.

EUCASS has also launched high-level Aerospace Thematic Workshops dedicated to fundamental topics of promising potential for aerospace applications. The series on "Fundamentals of flow and combustion control by plasmas" was started in 2007 at Varenna, Italy, followed in 2009 and 2011 at Les Houches Physics School in France, then Aussois (2013) and Les Houches (2015). The sixth was completed in Pushkin, Russia, in 2017. A new and exciting series on "Collisions of fast particles with surfaces" started in Aussois in 2016.

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 Book Series compiling the best scientific works presented. Since 2007, it has been partnering with TORUS PRESS for these proceedings; it also encourages authors to submit their regular articles to the well-established Acta Astronautica and Journal of Aerospace Engineering Part G of SAGE Publications Ltd.

EUCASS Honorary President
Jean-Pierre Taran


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

Max Calabro was the head of the Propulsion System Department and launcher propulsion corporate expert for EADS Space transportation (Airbus today). He gained more than 40 years of experience in the field of propulsion systems (mainly, chemical), participated in the United Nations mission in Irak (UNMOVIC). He holds more than 10 patents in the field and many conference contributions; member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and AIAA associate Fellow. Now, he is a consultant at The Inner Arch.

Sergey M. Frolov, Ph.D, 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 600 journal and conference papers, and an editor of over 60 books.

Luciano Galfetti, Professor of Aerospace Propulsion at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, has been working for over 30 years in the field of combustion of energetic materials, solid and hybrid rocket propulsion. He is currently director of the Space Propulsion Laboratory (SPLab) of Politecnico di Milano. He is an author and coauthor of more than 200 journal and conference papers.

Filippo Maggi, Ph.D. is assistant professor at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is deputy director of the Space Propulsion Laboratory (SPLab) where he is responsible for the Solid Propulsion branch. His main research interests include combustion physics and efficiency of composite solid propellants, innovative metal fuels (e. g. activated metal fuels and nanostructured materials), and propellants with reduced environmental impact.


EUCASS addresses all topics of interest to aerospace, from research challenges to long-term programmes and administrative problems. It is organized in several permanent Technical Committees (TC). One of them is the Propulsion Physics TC. Within the broad EUCASS framework, the specific purpose of the Propulsion Physics TC is to promote the technology, sciences, and arts of aeronautic and space propulsion and to help those engaged in these pursuits to develop their skills and those of their students.

The Propulsion Physics Symposium covers all aspects of air-breathing and space propulsion, spanning from new developments in engines and propellants to modeling and testing. Topics range from basic research and development to applied studies, using experimental, theoretical, and/or advanced numerical methods, with a special focus on fundamental physical understanding. This eleventh volume of the EUCASS book series on advances in aerospace sciences is dedicated to progress in propulsion physics and includes a collection of the best papers, presented in this or closely connected areas, at the 6th European Conference for Aerospace Sciences held in Krakow, Poland, June 19 to July 3, 2015.

The Propulsion Symposium of this conference turned out to be a major meet- ing in the field of propulsion R&D with around 180 presentations. About 1/4 of the total number of papers accepted for presentation at the conference was later selected by the volume editors and subsequently edited by an international body of peer reviewers. The current book is the product of this long distillation process.

The volume includes four chapters covering most of the traditional aspects and topics in aeronautic and space propulsion sciences as well as several innovative ones:

  • Chapter 1 Hybrid and Solid Rocket Propulsion
  • Chapter 2 Liquid Rocket Propulsion: Numerical Modeling
  • Chapter 3 Liquid Rocket Propulsion: Experimental Investigations
  • Chapter 4 Nozzles, Tanks, and Turbopumps
  • Chapter 5 Airbreathing Propulsion

To easily identify and put in the right perspective the material of interest, the reader is invited to consult the brief introduction and paper summaries compiled at the start of the eight chapters.

We sincerely trust 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.

EUCASS Technical Committee Chair
Max Calabro


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.

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 unknown colleagues from all over the world.

Last but not least, special thanks are due to our sponsors without which the 2015 conference would not have taken place: European Space Agency (ESA); Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales (ONERA); Safran; Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES); Thalés Alenia Space; AIRBUS group; and Polish Space Agency.

We sincerely wish that this joint international effort will help all readers to gain a better understanding of aerospace flight dynamics, guidance, navigation, and control and to further widen the fascinating horizons of the aerospace world.

April 2018
The volume editors