Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

John P. Sullivan

Second Advisor

Stephen D Heister

Committee Chair

John P. Sullivan

Committee Co-Chair

Stephen D Heister

Committee Member 1

Gregory A. Blaisdell


The hybrid rocket is still sparsely employed within major space or defense projects due to their relatively poor combustion efficiency and low fuel grain regression rate. Although hybrid rockets can claim advantages in safety, environmental and performance aspects against established solid and liquid propellant systems, the boundary layer combustion process and the diffusion based mixing within a hybrid rocket grain port leaves the core flow unmixed and limits the system performance. One principle used to enhance the mixing of gaseous flows is to induce streamwise vorticity. The counter-rotating vortex pair (CVP) mixer utilizes this principle and introduces two vortices into a confined flow, generating a stirring motion in order to transport near wall media towards the core and vice versa. Recent studies investigated the velocity field introduced by this type of swirler. The current work is evaluating the mixing performance of the CVP concept, by using an experimental setup to simulate an axial primary pipe flow with a radially entering secondary flow. Hereby the primary flow is altered by the CVP swirler unit. The resulting setup therefore emulates a hybrid rocket motor with a cylindrical single port grain. In order to evaluate the mixing performance the secondary flow concentration at the pipe assembly exit is measured, utilizing a pressure-sensitive paint based procedure.