Liquid Propulsion

Liquid propulsion experience at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) includes many of the launch vehicle and propulsion systems development programs that have occurred in this country over the past 50 years. SwRI engineers have been involved in the structural dynamics, fluid dynamics, and the combined subjects of fluid-structure interaction.

Dynamics of Fluid Filled Structures

  • "Pogo," a nickname for the dynamic interaction of launch vehicle structural dynamics and propulsion system fluid dynamics
  • Hydro-elastic tank modeling, a necessity for accurate prediction of vehicle modes

SwRI engineers have experience in the modeling, study, and mitigation of potential issues for each of these fluid-structure interaction type problems.

Propulsion System Dynamics

Transient fluid dynamics is another important aspect of launch vehicle dynamics, specifically with respect to:

  • Start-slump
  • Shut-down waterhammer
  • Ullage pressurization

SwRI engineers have simulated these dynamic events:

  • Using commercially available software
  • Supporting the design of propellant feedline components for main propulsion systems
  • Determining mass of pressurant required to maintain a reliable propulsion system

Prototype Development & Testing

SwRI engineers are regularly involved in prototype development and testing, providing various levels of support depending on client needs. In some cases, SwRI provides technical depth into specific topics in which the client needs assistance. In other cases, SwRI provides technical breadth to assist a client with a large development project prior to entering an operational mode. Either way, SwRI engineers can provide the necessary technical assistance in design, analysis, manufacturing, and prototype testing.

Related Terminology

liquid propulsion experience  •  launch vehicle systems development  •  propulsion systems development  •  structural dynamics  •  fluid dynamics  •  fluid-structure interaction  •  Pogo  •  launch vehicle structural dynamics  •  propulsion system fluid dynamics  •  hydro-elastic tank modeling  •  prototype development  •  prototype testing

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.