A rocket nozzle on a spacecraft’s rocket engine can be a key to better viewing of a spacecraft.
Now, a team of engineers at the University of California, Davis, has built a computer model that predicts how an image of a nozzle would look in real life.
The model uses the rocket engine’s engine speed and propellant temperature, and the rocket’s shape to predict the nozzle’s shape, size and shape distribution.
The scientists developed a model that they hope will be useful in the design of future rocket engines.
The new research is published today in the journal Advanced Materials.
“It is extremely important that rocket nozzle design has an accurate model of the propulsion system,” said senior author Paul Ostermann, a professor in the UC Davis School of Engineering and Applied Science.
“This is because the nozzle has a huge influence on how the spacecraft behaves during its ascent.”
To develop a computer-controlled model of a launch nozzle, the team simulated an engine nozzle on an M2-class spacecraft in space.
The spacecraft is a combination of a space shuttle and an Orion capsule, which are operated by NASA.
In a simulation, the rocket was fueled to about 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of thrust.
A second simulation simulates a launch from Earth using the same rocket and the same propellant.
The simulations were conducted on an IBM BlueGene/QX700 computer running the NASA simulation software.
The researchers also conducted computer simulations of how the nozzle might look in the real world.
To develop their model, the scientists used computer models of three common rocket nozzle shapes, including the M1, M2 and M3 shapes.
The team created two versions of the model, one using the M2 shape and one using a different rocket shape.
They then compared the two models to model the performance of a different launch vehicle.
The resulting model predicted that the rocket nozzle in the simulated test launch would look similar to the real-world rocket nozzle.
“The model is very accurate for any nozzle, from M1 to M3, with a few notable exceptions,” said Osterman.
“The M2 nozzle is about 30% larger than the M3 nozzle, and about 50% smaller.
The M3 has a large hole at the nozzle end, and it is quite asymmetrical.”
The team then compared that asymmetry with a nozzle in space, which has a different design.
The nozzle is asymmetrical and has a slightly larger hole at its nozzle end.
The results showed that the nozzle in this case would look more like a M1 nozzle.
The simulated nozzle looks more like the M4 nozzle.
Ostermen says the team’s model predicts that a nozzle like this is likely to be an important part of the engine’s performance during flight.
“These results are extremely promising, and they point to the possibility that a rocket engine nozzle could be useful for spacecraft development,” said lead author Jonathan Stahl, a doctoral student in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Space Technology Center.
“We were very excited about this project,” said team member Rakesh Agrawal, a graduate student in Agraws lab.
“We’ve been working on this project for several years, and we had a lot of help in developing the model.
We’re extremely grateful to the people who helped with this.”
The model used in this study was developed by Ostermans team using a number of computer simulation software packages.
Osters team is currently working on a second version of the study that includes a rocket shape model that would allow the team to see if the new model predicts an even more accurate nozzle.