Aerojet Rocketdyne: Sub-scale, oxygen-rich preburner tested successfully

A rocket pre-burner test
A rocket pre-burner test | Contributed photo
Aerojet Rocketdyne said it successfully tested its sub-scale, oxygen-rich preburner recently at full power and full duration, the last in the company’s test series for an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) project.
 
“The large quantity of data gathered during this test series is invaluable in anchoring the analytical models that were developed for use with this and future engine programs,”  Aerojet Rocketdyne Program Manager Joe Burnett, who manages the company’s work on the AFRL’s Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator program, said. “We incorporated a novel fuel- and oxidizer-mixing technology in the preburner design, which yielded an extremely uniform gas temperature throughout the engine. Consistent gas temperatures in an engine are critical for turbomachinery performance.”
 
The project aims to further the oxygen-rich staged combustion (ORSC) engine cycle for rocket engines. The preburner was tested in the reusable HBTD demonstrator engine, allowing Aerojet Rocketdyne to test its materials, technologies and performance.
 
“At Aerojet Rocketdyne, we evolve rocket science,” Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake said. “The Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator program is key to a state-of-the-art, oxygen-rich, staged combustion engine with components that include modern materials using advanced manufacturing techniques. What we’ve learned will be instrumental as other engines are developed using this same engine cycle, such as our AR1 engine." 

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