Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aerospace Engineering

Major Professor

Joseph Majdalani

Committee Members

Trevor M. Moeller, Christian G. Parigger


The focus of this study is the prediction of trajectories of solid particles injected into either a cylindrically- shaped solid rocket motor (SRM) or a bidirectional vortex chamber (BV). The Lagrangian particle trajectory is assumed to be governed by drag, virtual mass, Magnus, Saffman lift, and gravity forces in a Stokes flow regime. For the conditions in a solid rocket motor, it is determined that either the drag or gravity forces will dominate depending on whether the sidewall injection velocity is high (drag) or low (gravity). Using a one-way coupling paradigm in a solid rocket motor, the effects of particle size, sidewall injection velocity, and particle-to-gas density ratio are examined. The particle size and sidewall injection velocity are found to have a greater impact on particle trajectories than the density ratio. Similarly, for conditions associated with a bidirectional vortex engine, it is determined that the drag force dominates. Using a one-way particle tracking Lagrangian model, the effects of particle size, geometric inlet parameter, particle-to-gas density ratio, and initial particle velocity are examined. All but the initial particle velocity are found to have a significant impact on particle trajectories. The proposed models can assist in reducing slag retention and identifying fuel injection configurations that will ensure proper confinement of combusting droplets to the inner vortex in solid rocket motors and bidirectional vortex engines, respectively.

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