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Hypersonic retro propulsion for reusable launch vehicles tested in the H2K wind tunnel

Marwege, Ansgar and Kirchheck, Daniel and Klevanski, Josef and Gülhan, Ali (2022) Hypersonic retro propulsion for reusable launch vehicles tested in the H2K wind tunnel. CEAS Space Journal, 14 (3), pp. 473-499. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s12567-022-00457-w. ISSN 1868-2502.

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12567-022-00457-w


In the frame of the RETALT (RETro propulsion Assisted Landing Technologies) project, the aerodynamics of reusable launch vehicles reentering the atmosphere and descending and landing with the aid of retro propulsion are studied. In particular, series of wind tunnel tests are performed to assess the aerodynamic properties of such a vehicle in the various flight phases from hypersonic and supersonic re-entry down to subsonic conditions at touch down. This paper discusses the results of wind tunnel tests in the Hypersonic Wind Tunnel Cologne (H2K) at the Supersonic and Hypersonic Flow Technologies Department of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne for the hypersonic retro propulsion maneuver during the re-entry burn. Mach numbers of 5.3 and 7.0 were tested with a variation of thrust coefficient, Reynolds number, angle of attack, cold and heated air. A single-engine configuration and a configuration with three active engines were tested. In all tests, the engine exhaust was simulated using ambient temperature or heated air. Dependencies of the flow features of the square root of the thrust coefficient known from literature for the single-engine case can be confirmed and extended to the three-engine configuration. For the single-engine case, the formation of vortex rings was observed, which eventually leads to strong individual vortices and extensive flow field disturbances. The heating of the supply air up to 600 K mitigates condensation in the retro plume, while the overall flow structures remained unchanged. High thrust coefficients generally lead to vanishing pressure coefficients on the engine bay. The single and the three-engine cases are comparable in this sense. The Mach number and Reynolds number are of subordinate importance for the pressures on the vehicle, while the thrust coefficient is the dominating similarity parameter. Pressure coefficients far downstream of the retro plume are affected less and, therefore, are not negligible at non-zero angles of attack. In this paper, the methodology of the wind tunnel tests and the results obtained are described in detail.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/188153/
Document Type:Article
Title:Hypersonic retro propulsion for reusable launch vehicles tested in the H2K wind tunnel
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Marwege, AnsgarUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3912-9114UNSPECIFIED
Klevanski, JosefUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0002-4336-1116UNSPECIFIED
Gülhan, AliUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4905-5881UNSPECIFIED
Date:29 June 2022
Journal or Publication Title:CEAS Space Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 473-499
Series Name:Special Issue on Retro propulsion assisted landing technologies: the RETALT project
Keywords:Wind tunnel tests, Retro propulsion, Vertical descent and landing, Reusable launch vehicle
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Transportation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RP - Space Transportation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Reusable Space Systems and Propulsion Technology
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute for Aerodynamics and Flow Technology > Supersonic and Hypersonic Technology
Deposited By: Marwege, Ansgar
Deposited On:07 Sep 2022 15:06
Last Modified:19 Feb 2024 10:19

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