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Component Optimization

...big changes in small increments

Sierra Engineering conducts optimizations on individual components or subsystems. Component optimizations typically require some "pre" or "post" processing of the results using Microsoft Excel, Fortran, or VDOC synthetic functions. The table below briefly describes a few representative examples of component optimizations that Sierra Engineering has performed to date:


Objective: Maximize *delivered* ISP
Design Variables:
  • Exit & Entrance Angles
  • All Radii
  • Contraction Ratio
  • Contraction Angle
  • Chamber Length
  • Nozzle Length
  • Nozzle Diameter
  • Throat Radius
  • Nominal/Average Thrust
  • Contraction Ratio
  • Max Length
  • Max Diameter


Objective: Minimize Weight
Design Variables:
  • Ox & Fuel Orifice Size
  • Number of Rings
  • Number of Elements
  • Stress
  • Geometry Limits
  • Pressure Drop
  • Performance

Turbopump Assemblies

Objective: Minimize Power
Design Variables:
  • Rotor Speed
  • Turbine Coefficients
  • Impeller Size
  • Partial Admission Factor
  • Shaft Geometry
  • Material
  • Geometry Limits
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Max Weight

Propellant Tank Insulation

Objective: Minimize Insulation Weight
Design Variables:
  • Insulation Materials
  • Insulation Thickness
  • Number of Layers
  • Propellant Temperature

Plume Diagnostics

Objective: Minimize LSF Error of Predicted Radiance Profiles
Design Variables:
  • Mixture Ratio
  • Pressure
  • Barrier Cooling Environment
  • Throat Radius
  • Vaporization
  • Observed Overall MR
  • Nozzle Exit Area
  • Observed Radiance