Evaluation of hydro-mechanical pulsation for rocket injector research
The Propulsion Research Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville has designed and built a hydro-mechanical pulsator to simulate the pressure fluctuations created by high frequency combustion instability. The pressure response characteristics were evaluated in an atmospheric test rig using filtered de-ionized water as the working fluid. The outlet of the pulsator was connected to a swirl injector post to provide downstream flow resistance. Previous low pressure and mass flow experimental data revealed a complex relationship between the control parameters and the pulsation response. For each test, the average mass flow rates of the waste water, water lost through the seals, and injector mass flow rates are measured. A dynamic pressure transducer at the pulsator exit measures and records the pressure waveform. Pulsation magnitude, reliability, repeatability, pulsation effects, and detailed variable control are examined. The data shows the pulsator is capable of generating 30% pulsation at 1575 Hz input. The repeatability of the pulsator is questionable because the standard deviations exceeded 40% of the average. The detailed data obtained during this research provides is sufficient to develop a pulsator tuning procedure for future applications.