Effect of stagger on the vibroacoustic loads from clustered rockets


R. Rojo, Tinney, C. E., and Ruf, J., “Effect of stagger on the vibroacoustic loads from clustered rockets,” AIAA Journal, vol. 54, no. 11, pp. 3588-3597, 2016.


The effect of stagger startup on the vibroacoustic 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 before 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 startups are staggered. However, regardless of stagger, both the skewness and kurtosis of the acoustic pressure time derivative elevate to the same levels, thereby demonstrating the intermittence and impulsiveness of the acoustic waveforms during the end effects regime.