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Flow characteristics of monopropellant micro-scale planar nozzles

Banuti, Daniel T. and Grabe, Martin and Hannemann, Klaus (2019) Flow characteristics of monopropellant micro-scale planar nozzles. Aerospace Science and Technology, 86 . pp. 341-350. ISSN 1270-9638. doi:10.1016/j.ast.2018.11.057.

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We investigate the flow in planar microscale nozzles and find that design and analysis paradigms based on the assumption of a dominant isentropic core with moderate viscosity corrections are not valid. Instead, the flow downstream of the throat is dominated by boundary layers that may choke the flow to subsonic velocities. The geometrical expansion ratio is found to be essentially irrelevant, instead, the length from throat to exit plane is found to be a much more important design parameter. Full 3D simulations are required to predict the flow topology; thermophysical modeling of the expanding gas has a noticeable impact on predicted performance. An analytical estimation of the Knudsen number in the expanding flow is given, allowing to determine its values from the expansion pressure ratio. An axial thrust analysis suggests truncation of the nozzle, resulting in a predicted 30% increase in thrust and 30% increase in specific impulse compared to the baseline configuration. The work has been carried out within the European Commission co-funded PRECISE project which was focused on designing and testing a micro chemical propulsion system thruster prototype using catalytically decomposed hydrazine as propellant.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Banuti, Daniel T.0000-0002-5469-5704
Additional Information:© 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS. Received 20 April 2018, Revised 20 October 2018, Accepted 4 November 2018, Available online 3 January 2019.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)282948
Subject Keywords:MEMS; Rocket engine; Hydrazine; Cube sat; Satellite; Propulsion
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190417-132544327
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Official Citation:Daniel T. Banuti, Martin Grabe, Klaus Hannemann, Flow characteristics of monopropellant micro-scale planar nozzles, Aerospace Science and Technology, Volume 86, 2019, Pages 341-350, ISSN 1270-9638, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94750
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Apr 2019 21:36
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:07

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