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Interaction of Liquid Propellant and Coupled System Structure for Atlas V Launch Vehicle

[+] Author Affiliations
Kirk W. Dotson, Brian H. Sako

The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA

Daniel R. Morgenthaler

United Launch Alliance, Littleton, CO

Paper No. FEDSM-ICNMM2010-30072, pp. 409-420; 12 pages
  • ASME 2010 3rd Joint US-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting collocated with 8th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 2010 7th International Symposium on Fluid-Structure Interactions, Flow-Sound Interactions, and Flow-Induced Vibration and Noise: Volume 3, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 1–5, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5451-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3880-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


In structural modeling of launch vehicles, liquid propellant is sometimes rigidly attached to feedline walls. This assumption precludes the interaction of structural modes with propellant pressure and flow. An analysis of fluid-structure interaction (FSI) for the Atlas V launch vehicle revealed that structural models with rigidly-attached propellant yield unconservative response predictions under some conditions. In particular, during the maximum acceleration time of flight, pressure oscillations acting at bends in the Atlas V liquid oxygen (LO2 ) feedline excite 15–20 Hz structural modes that have considerable gain on the feedline and at the spacecraft interface. The investigation also revealed that the venting of gas from the pogo accumulator is an excitation source and changes the dynamic characteristics of the hydraulic system. The FSI simulation produced during the investigation can be adapted to mission-specific conditions, such that responses and loads are conservatively predicted for any Atlas V flight.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Vehicles , Propellants



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