Results of experimental measurements of low-frequency combustion instability of a 300-pound thrust acid-heptane rocket engine were compared to the trends predicted by an analysis of combustion instability in a rocket engine with a pressurized-gas propellant pumping system. The simplified analysis, which assumes a monopropellant model, was based on the concept of a combustion the delay occurring from the moment of propellant injection to the moment of propellant combustion. This combustion time delay was experimentally measured; the experimental values were of approximately half the magnitude predicted by the analysis. The pressure-fluctuation frequency for a rocket engine with a characteristic length of 100 inches and operated at a combustion-chamber pressure of 280 pounds per square inch absolute was 38 cycles per second; the analysis indicated. a frequency of 37 cycles per second. Increasing combustion-chamber characteristic length decreased the pressure-fluctuation frequency, in conformity to the analysis. Increasing the chamber operating pressure or increasing the injector pressure drop increased the frequency. These latter two effects are contrary to the analysis; the discrepancies are attributed to the conflict between the assumptions made to simplify the analysis and the experimental conditions. Oxidant-fuel ratio had no apparent effect on the experimentally measured pressure-fluctuation frequency for acid-heptane ratios from 3.0 to 7.0. The frequencies decreased with increased amplitude of the combustion-chamber pressure variations. The analysis indicated that if the combustion time delay were sufficiently short, low-frequency combustion instability would be eliminated.
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