Date Presented:28 October
The plume and acoustic field produced by a cluster of two and four rocket nozzles is visualized by way of retroreflective shadowgraphy. Both steady state and transient operations of the nozzles (start-up and shut-down) were conducted in the fully-anechoic chamber and open jet facility of The University of Texas at Austin. The laboratory scale rocket nozzles comprise thrust-optimized parabolic (TOP) contours, which during start-up, experience free shock separated flow, restricted shock separated flow, and an “end-effects regime” prior to flowing full. Shadowgraphy images are first compared with several RANS simulations during steady operations. A proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) of various regions in the shadowgraphy images is then performed to elucidate the prominent features residing in the supersonic annular flow region, the acoustic near field and the interaction zone that resides between the nozzle plumes. Synchronized surveys of the acoustic loads produced in close vicinity to the rocket clusters are compared to the low-order shadowgraphy images in order to identify the various mechanisms within the near-field that are responsible for generating sound.