Numerical Analysis of an Advanced Rocket Engine Turbopump 941209
A coupled analysis of inlet guide vanes, inducer blades, and the following struts is carried out via a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method. The complex 3-D components are part of a liquid hydrogen fuel turbopump for Advanced Expander Test Bed (AETB) engine. Numerical simulation is carried out via a 3-D compressible, Euler, finite volume, time-stepping algorithm that utilizes a multiple-grid accelerator for steady state problems. A scaling procedure is used to approximate the flow of liquids in turbopumps. Circumferential averaging at suitable planes in between the rotating and stationary components has been used to simulate the rotor/stator interactions in a steady state mode. The paper delineates the 3-D nature of the coupled flow fields through the pump components by simulating the conditions at normal operating point (20 K lb thrust) and an off-design point at 10 K lb thrust. The predicted flow field analysis points to a nearly cavitation-free inducer for the operating conditions.