Effect of stagger on the vibroacoustic loads from clustered rockets


R. Rojo, Tinney, C. E., and Ruf, J. H., “Effect of stagger on the vibroacoustic loads from clustered rockets,” 54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA Paper 2016-1016. San Diego, California, USA, 2016.


The effect of stagger startup on the vibro-acoustic loads that form during the end-effects regime of clustered rockets is studied using both full-scale (hot-gas) and laboratory scale (cold gas) data with vehicle geometry. Both configurations comprise three nozzles with thrust optimized parabolic contours that undergo free shock separated flow and restricted shock separated flow as well as an end-effects regime prior to flowing full. Acoustic pressure waveforms recorded at the base of the nozzle cluster are analyzed using various statistical metrics as well as time-frequency analysis. The findings reveal a significant reduction in end-effects regime loads when engine ignition is staggered. However, regardless of stagger, both the skewness and kurtosis of the acoustic pressure time derivative elevate to the same levels during the end-effects regime thereby demonstrating the intermittence and impulsiveness of the acoustic waveforms that form during engine startup.