Investigation of combustion control in a dump combustor using the feedback free fluidic oscillator

Eric J Meier, Purdue University


The feedback free fluidic oscillator uses the unsteady nature of two colliding jets to create a single oscillating outlet jet with a wide sweep angle. These devices have the potential to provide additional combustion control, boundary layer control, thrust vectoring, and industrial flow deflection. Two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics, CFD, was used to analyze the jet oscillation frequency over a range of operating conditions and to determine the effect that geometric changes in the oscillator design have on the frequency. Results presented illustrate the changes in jet oscillation frequency with gas type, gas temperature, operating pressure, pressure ratio across the oscillator, aspect ratio of the oscillator, and the frequency trends with various changes to the oscillator geometry. A fluidic oscillator was designed and integrated into single element rocket combustor with the goal of suppressing longitudinal combustion instabilities. An array of nine fluidic oscillators was tested to mimic modulated secondary oxidizer injection into the dump plane using 15% of the oxidizer flow. The combustor has a coaxial injector that uses gaseous methane and decomposed hydrogen peroxide at an O/F of 11.66. A sonic choke plate on an actuator arm allows for continuous adjustment of the oxidizer post acoustics for studying a variety of instability magnitudes. The fluidic oscillator unsteady outlet jet performance is compared with equivalent steady jet injection and a baseline design with no secondary oxidizer injection. At the most unstable operating conditions, the unsteady outlet jet saw a 60% reduction in the instability pressure oscillation magnitude when compared to the steady jet and baseline data. The results indicate open loop propellant modulation for combustion control can be achieved through fluidic devices that require no moving parts or electrical power to operate. Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics, 3-D CFD, was conducted to determine the mechanism by which the fluidic oscillators were able to suppress the combustion instability. Results for steady jet secondary injection, showed a strong coupling between the jet injection and the combustion instability pressure pulse. The computational results were able to closely match the experimental results and previous CFD data. The model with the oscillating fluidic oscillator injection was unable to match the stable combustion seen in the experimental data. Further investigation is needed to determine the role higher order chemistry kinetics play in the process and the role of manifolds on the un-choked fuel and fluidic oscillator inlets. This research demonstrates the ability to modulate propellant injection and suppress combustion instabilities using fluidic devices that require no electrical power or moving parts. The advent of advanced manufacturing technologies such as direct metal laser sintering will allow for integration of fluidic devices into combustors to provide open loop active control with a high degree of reliability. Additionally, 2-D CFD analysis is demonstrated to be a valid tool for predicting the feedback free fluidic oscillator oscillation mechanism.




Heister, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server