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Proceedings Paper

U.S. Air Force Approach To Plume Contamination
Author(s): Ronald P. Furstenau; T.Dwayne McCay; David M. Mann
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Paper Abstract

Exhaust products from rocket engine firings can produce undesirable effects on sensitive satellite surfaces, such as optical systems, solar cells, and thermal control surfaces. The Air Force has an objective of minimizing the effect of rocket plume contamination on space-craft mission effectiveness. Plume contamination can result from solid rocket motors, liquid propellant engines, and electric thrusters. To solve the plume contamination problem, the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (AFRPL) has developed a plume contamination computer model which predicts the production, transport, and deposition of rocket exhaust products. In addition, an experimental data base is being obtained through ground-based vacuum chamber experiments and in-flight measurements with which to compare the analytical results. Finally, the experimental data is being used to verify and improve the analytical model. The plume contamination model, known as CONTAM, has been used to make contamination predictions for various engines. The experimental programs have yielded quantitative data, such as species concentrations and temperatures, in all regions of the plume. The result of the modelling and experimental programs will ultimately be computer models which can be used by the satellite designer to analyze and to minimize the effect plume contamination will have on a particular spacecraft system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 1980
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0216, Optics in Adverse Environments II, (5 August 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958447
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald P. Furstenau, Plume Technology Office (United States)
T.Dwayne McCay, Plume Technology Office (United States)
David M. Mann, Plume Technology Office (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0216:
Optics in Adverse Environments II
Mark A. Kahan, Editor(s)

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