LOX/Methane Turbopump Design


Designed LOX and methane turbopump assemblies (TPAs) as part of a team designing a 60,000-pound thrust expander cycle rocket engine. There were numerous challenges in this project, including the high suction specific speed inducers for both pumps, the high head rise of the methane pump to offset the pressure drop in the regeneratively cooled nozzle, the highly loaded axial turbines, and difficult mechanical design due to the thermal gradients, axial thrust loads, and rapid rotor acceleration. Turbo Solutions was responsible for the design of both turbopumps, including the aerodynamic/hydrodynamic design, mechanical design and solid modeling, structural and rotordynamic analysis, and risk assessment and management. We brought the turbopump systems to the Preliminary Design Review level and presented to industry and government personnel. The project team is pursuing additional funding to complete detailed design, fabrication, and test of these TPAs.