Progress in Propulsion Physics Volume 4

Volume presentation

The book contains 42 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 8 chapters: (1) Solid and Hybrid Rocket Propulsion; (2) Liquid and Gelled Rocket Propulsion; (3) Nuclear and Electric Rocket Propulsion; (4) Air-Breathing and Pulse Detonation Propulsion; (5) Combustion Diagnostics and Modeling; (6) Fluid/Structure Interactions; (7) Environmental Impact of Rocket Emissions; and (8) Mitigation and Removal of Space Debris.

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 AeroSpace 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 500 members from over 30 different countries. It is a member of the International Astronautical Association (IAF) and is partnering with European disciplinary associations ECCOMAS, ERCOFTAC, EUROMECH, and EUROTURBO and with CEAS, the Council of European Aerospace Societies.

Among its notable activities, the EUCASS team has already organized four 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 N.N. Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and TORUSPRESS.

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 the facilitation of cross-fertilization between multidisciplinary activities and between applications of any given technology to space and to aeronautics.

EUCASS has also launched a series of high-level Aerospace Thematic Workshops dedicated to fundamental topics of promising potential for aerospace applications, like the one on "Fundamentals of Flow and Combustion Control by Plasmas." The first of these was held in May 2007 at Varenna, Italy; the second and third editions followed in October 2009 and April 2011 at Les Houches Physics School in France.

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 Journal of Aerospace Engineering Part G of SAGE Publications Ltd.


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 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, Christophe Bonnal is General Secretary of the EUCASS association.

Oskar J. Haidn, Professor of Space Propulsion at the Technische Universität München, has over 20 years of experience in all major aspects of thrust chamber technologies of liquid propellant rocket engines. He holds several patents in the field and is author and coauthor of more than 200 journal articles and conference contributions.

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 25 books.


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 fourth 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 4th European Conference for Aerospace Sciences held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 4-8, 2011.

The Propulsion Symposium of this conference was ideally dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the historical orbital fight by Yu. Gagarin (April 12, 1961) and turned out to be a major meeting 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 eight chapters covering most of the traditional aspects and topics in aeronautic and space propulsion sciences as well as several innovative ones:

  • Chapter 1 Solid and Hybrid Rocket Propulsion
  • Chapter 2 Liquid and Gelled Rocket Propulsion
  • Chapter 3 Nuclear and Electric Rocket Propulsion
  • Chapter 4 Air-Breathing and Pulse Detonation Propulsion
  • Chapter 5 Combustion Diagnostics and Modeling
  • Chapter 6 Fluid/Structure Interactions
  • Chapter 7 Environmental Impact of Rocket Emissions
  • Chapter 8 Mitigation and Removal of Space Debris

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.


Special thanks are due to our sponsors, without which the 2011 conference would not have taken place:

  • European Space Agency (ESA);
  • Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES);
  • Russian Foundation for Basic Research;
  • International Science and Technology Center (ISTC); and
  • Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales (ONERA).

It is our pleasure to thank for their valuable and patient support:

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

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 willingness of reviewers to share their expertise and knowledge with unknown colleagues from all over the world.

As a minor token of the editors' appreciation for reviewers' diligence and work, the names of all contributing reviewers are listed hereafter:

Fernand Alby
William E. Anderson
Branislav Basara
Valentin Basevich
Luca Boccaletto
Christophe Bonhomme
Anatolii Borisov
Claudio Bruno
Carmine Carmicino
Elisa Cliquet-Moreno
Roberto DeAmicis
Boris Ermolaev
Stany Gallier
Chloe Genin
Peter Gerlinger
Oleg Glotov
Eva Gutheil
Ugur Guven
Jose Hinckel
Stephen D. Hister
Jacob Kanelbaum
Charles Kappenstein
Robert Kathan
Boris Khasainov
Christoph Kirchberger
Alexander A. Konnov
Valerii Kopchenov
Victor Kopiev
Christophe Koppel
Oliver Knaus
Sergey Krasheninnikov
Alexander L. Kuranov
Günter Langel
Diego Lentini
Sergey Leonov
Jer-Chyi Liou
Chris Maeding
Vladimir Markov
Wolfgang Meier
Sylvain Michel
Neil Paul Murray
Tony Musker
Francesco Nasuti
Benveniste Natan
Aurelie Nicol
Marcello Onofri
Olivier Orlandi
Michael Oschwald
Sibtosh Pal
Dario Pastrone
Alexander Pavlenko
Oleg Penyazkov
Arie Peretz
Michael Pfitzner
Claude Phipps
Yulii V. Platov
Timothee Pourpoint
Guillaume Ribert
Franck Richecoeur
Annamaria Russo
Tatiana Ryzhova
Oleg Sharypov
Roland Schmehl
Richard Schwane
Toru Shimada
Vladimir Shmelev
Jüurgen Starke
Leopold Summerer
Dmitry Suslov
Douglas G. Talley
Katya Tverdokhlebova
Mauro Valorani
Christiane Voigt
Bernhard Weigand
Dietmar Wiedmann
Daimon Yu
Vladimir Zarko

The conference and this volume are the outcome of hard work of several dedicated teams, and we appreciate their valuable contributions. In particular, we acknowledge the assistance given at various stages by the stages of TORUS PRESS Publishers in organizing the conference and for the excellent production of this volume.