Structural Dynamics of Rocket Engines

Apr 20

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm


Dr. Andrew M. Brown, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Structural Dynamics plays a key role in the design, test, and operation of rocket engines. We’ll start by reviewing some basic concepts in Structural Dynamics, and then focus on specific applications of these techniques for the analysis of rocket engines. These include the Campbell Diagram for resonance identification in turbomachinery, the “side-loads” fluid/structure interaction problem in over-expanded rocket nozzles, and the necessity of a system loads model for the generation of interface design loads. The role of modal test for verification will also be discussed. As structural dynamics is frequently a root-cause in failure investigations, we’ll be able to see some spectacular video of these failures as well.

Andy Brown, Ph.D., is an Aerospace Engineer in the Propulsion Structures & Dynamic Analysis Branch/ER41 at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. He joined MSFC in 1986, and has worked mainly on rocket engine dynamics and loads research and analysis, but also has performed hypersonic debris impact analysis. Presently, he is leading structural dynamic analysis for the adaptation and re-start of the Space Shuttle Main Engine into the new RS25 engine, which will power the first stage of the Space Launch System. He has authored or co-authored 8 journal papers and over 20 conference papers covering topics ranging from probabilistic design and loads combination methods to techniques for calculating turbine blade forced response in the presence of asymmetric flow. Dr. Brown received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University in 1984, a Masters and Ph.D. in ME from Georgia Tech, and was recently inducted as an Associate Fellow of the AIAA.