Background and Requirements : Introduction, Motion of bodies in space, parameters describing motion of bodies, frame of reference – Impulse, force, universal law for gravitational force, motion in rotating frame of reference, pseudo-centrifugal force – Orbits, orbit velocities, orbital period, geosynchronous and geostationary orbits, eccentricity and inclination, polar, sun-synchronous and other orbits – Energy requirements for orbit, escape velocity, orbital and suborbital flight, state of weightlessness under free fall.

Rocket Principle : Means of achieving orbit, Motion of a sled initially at rest – Motion of giant squids, Rocket principle and Rocket equation – Mass ratio of rocket, desirable parameters to achieve high velocities, propulsive efficiency – Performance parameters of a rocket, staging and clustering, classification of rockets.

Nozzles : Rocket nozzles: Expansion of gases from high pressure chamber, efflux velocity, shape of nozzle – Convergent divergent nozzle, choking, variation of parameters in nozzle – Expansion ratio of nozzles, Performance loss in nozzles – Under-expanded and over-expanded nozzles, flow separation – Contour nozzles, adapted nozzles and unconventional nozzles,mass flow rates and characteristic velocities – Thrust developed by a rocket, thrust coefficient, vacuum and sea level specific impulse, efficiencies and thrust correction factor.

Chemical propellants : Choice from considerations of molecular mass, specific heats, specific heat ratios, temperature and pressure – Choice of chemical propellants: heats of formation, moles and mixture ratio; choice of mixture ratio – Calculation of heat of combustion, temperature, molecular mass and rocket performance parameters – Solid propellants: Double base, composite, composite modified double base and nitramine propellants – Liquid propellants; Energy content and classification, Earth storable and space storable propellants, hypergolic and other features, hybrid propellants – Influence of dissociation on propellant performance, frozen and equilibrium analysis.

Solid Propellant Rockets : burn rate of double base and composite propellants, parameters influencing burn rates – Choice of burn rates for stable operation – Propellant grain configurations: design of solid propellant rocket – Ignition of solid propellant rockets, ignition problems and solutions – Characteristic burn times and action times of solid propellant rockets, variation of burn rates with rocket size, erosive burning, components of solid propellant rocket.

Liquid Propellant Rockets : Introduction to liquid propellant rockets, propellant feed systems, cycles of operation, gas generator, topping/staged combustion cycle, expander and other cycles, factors influencing choice of cycle – Thrust chamber, injector types, combustion chamber – Calculation of efficiency of liquid propellant rockets from non uniform distribution of propellants and incomplete vaporization, characteristic length of chamber – Cooling of thrust chamber and nozzle – Performance and choice of feed system cycle, Choice of parameters for liquid propellant rockets – Turbo-pumps for liquid propellant rockets – Expulsion of propellants using high pressure gas and mass requirements, draining of propellants under microgravity conditions – Complexity of liquid propellant rockets, determination of performance; current trends.

Monopropellant and hybrid Rockets : Monopropellant rockets – Hybrid rockets.
Combustion Instability in Rockets : illustration through examples, bulk and wave modes of instability – Modeling of bulk mode of instability in solid and liquid propellant rockets – Standing waves and characteristic frequencies in different wave modes – Modeling of wave mode instability in rockets – Other types of instabilities; Pogo, vortex shedding etc., Methods of overcoming instability problems.

Electrical Rockets : Electrical rockets: electrical and magnetic fields, electro-thermal, arc-jet, electrostatic and electromagnetic thrusters – Gridded ion thrusters, neutralization and thrust limitations, Hall effect thrusters – Choice of parameters for electrical thrusters, specific mass and optimum efflux velocity, Current trends in electrical rockets.
Nuclear and Advanced Propulsion : Nuclear, tri-propellant and advanced propulsion: Future trends.

Other Resources

Course Curriculum

Mod-01 Lec-01 Introduction Details 57:30
Mod-01 Lec-02 Motion in Space Details 45:2
Mod-01 Lec-03 Rotational Frame of Reference and Orbital Velocities Details 41:32
Mod-01 Lec-04 Velocity Requirements Details 52:20
Mod-01 Lec-05 Theory of Rocket Propulsion Details 50:43
Mod-01 Lec-06 Rocket Equation and Staging of Rockets Details 55:21
Mod-01 Lec-07 Review of Rocket Principles: Propulsion Efficiency Details 59:45
Mod-01 Lec-08 Examples Illustrating Theory of Rocket Propulsion and Introduction to Nozzles Details 54:18
Mod-01 Lec-09 Theory of Nozzles Details 51:31
Mod-01 Lec-10 Nozzles Shapes Details 52:17
Mod-01 Lec-11 Area Ratio of Nozzles:Under-expansion and Over-expansion Details 55:9
Mod-01 Lec-12 Characteristic Velocity and Thrust Coefficient Details 54:23
Mod-01 Lec-13 Divergence Loss in Conical Nozzles and the Bell Nozzle Details 50:59
Mod-01 Lec-14 Unconventional Nozzles and Problems in Nozzles Details 54:21
Mod-01 Lec-15 Criterion for Choice of Chemical Propellants Details 53:40
Mod-01 Lec-16 Choice of Fuel-Rich Propellants Details 56:24
Mod-01 Lec-17 Performance Prediction Analysis Details 57:6
Mod-01 Lec-18 Dissociation of Products of Combustion Details 51:43
Mod-01 Lec-19 Shifting Equilibrium and Frozen Flow in Nozzles Details 52:45
Mod-01 Lec-20 Factors Influencing Choice of Chemical Propellants Details 51:34
Mod-01 Lec-21 Low Energy Liquid Propellants and Hybrid Propellants Details 55:16
Mod-01 Lec-22 Introduction to Solid Propellant Rockets Details 52:44
Mod-01 Lec-23 Burn Rate of Solid Propellants and Equilibrium pressure in Solid Propellants Rockets Details 53:49
Mod-01 Lec-24 Design Aspects of Solid Propellant Rockets Details 57:6
Mod-01 Lec-25 Burning Surface Area of Solid Propellant Grains Details 54:32
Mod-01 Lec-26 Ignition of Solid Propellant Rockets Details 55:11
Mod-01 Lec-27 Review of Solid Propellant Rockets Details 54:44
Mod-01 Lec-28 Feed Systems for Liquid Propellant Rockets Details 53:6
Mod-01 Lec-29 Feed System Cycles for Pump Fed Liquid Propellant Rockets Details 52:19
Mod-01 Lec-30 Analysis of Gas Generator and Staged Combustion Cycles and Introduction to Injectors Details 56:12
Mod-01 Lec-31Injectors,Cooling of Chamber and Mixture Ratio Distribution Details 51:42
Mod-01 Lec-32 Efficiencies due to Mixture Ratio Distribution and Incomplete Vaporization Details 54:5
Mod-01 Lec-33 Pumps and Turbines; Propellant Feed System at Zero “g” Conditions Details 52:52
Mod-01 Lec-34 Review of Liquid Bi-propellant Rockets and Introduction to Mono-propellant Rockets Details 53:59
Mod-01 Lec-35 Introduction to Hybrid Rockets and a Simple Illustration of Combustion Instability Details 52:34
Mod-01 Lec-36 Combustion Instability in Solid Propellant and Liquid Propellant Rockets Details 48:36
Mod-01 Lec-37 Wave models of Oscillation Details 55:15
Mod-01 Lec-38 Mechanisms Causing Instabilities and Strategies for Avoiding Combustion Instability Details 59:10
Mod-01 Lec-39 Electric and Magnetic Fields and the Electrostatic Thruster Details 48:6
Mod-01 Lec-40 Electrical Thrusters Details 54:10
Mod-01 Lec-41 Advances in Rocket Propulsion Details

This course is part of NPTEL online courses, delivered by IIT Madras.

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