Space Shuttle Main Engine performance analysis
Abstract
For a number of years, NASA has relied primarily upon periodically updated versions of Rocketdyne's power balance model (PBM) to provide space shuttle main engine (SSME) steadystate performance prediction. A recent computational study indicated that PBM predictions do not satisfy fundamental energy conservation principles. More recently, SSME test results provided by the Technology Test Bed (TTB) program have indicated significant discrepancies between PBM flow and temperature predictions and TTB observations. Results of these investigations have diminished confidence in the predictions provided by PBM, and motivated the development of new computational tools for supporting SSME performance analysis. A multivariate least squares regression algorithm was developed and implemented during this effort in order to efficiently characterize TTB data. This procedure, called the 'gains model,' was used to approximate the variation of SSME performance parameters such as flow rate, pressure, temperature, speed, and assorted hardware characteristics in terms of six assumed independent influences. These six influences were engine power level, mixture ratio, fuel inlet pressure and temperature, and oxidizer inlet pressure and temperature. A BFGS optimization algorithm provided the base procedure for determining regression coefficients for both linear and full quadratic approximations of parameter variation. Statistical information relative to data deviation from regression derived relations was also computed. A new strategy for integrating test data with theoretical performance prediction was also investigated. The current integration procedure employed by PBM treats test data as pristine and adjusts hardware characteristics in a heuristic manner to achieve engine balance. Within PBM, this integration procedure is called 'data reduction.' By contrast, the new data integration procedure, termed 'reconciliation,' uses mathematical optimization techniques, and requires both measurement and balance uncertainty estimates. The reconciler attempts to select operational parameters that minimize the difference between theoretical prediction and observation. Selected values are further constrained to fall within measurement uncertainty limits and to satisfy fundamental physical relations (mass conservation, energy conservation, pressure drop relations, etc.) within uncertainty estimates for all SSME subsystems. The parameter selection problem described above is a traditional nonlinear programming problem. The reconciler employs a mixed penalty method to determine optimum values of SSME operating parameters associated with this problem formulation.
 Publication:

In Alabama Univ
 Pub Date:
 November 1993
 Bibcode:
 1993asee.nasa.....S
 Keywords:

 Data Integration;
 Data Reduction;
 Performance Prediction;
 Propulsion System Performance;
 Regression Coefficients;
 Space Shuttle Main Engine;
 Steady State;
 Energy Conservation;
 Flow Velocity;
 Inlet Pressure;
 Inlet Temperature;
 Mixing Ratios;
 Spacecraft Propulsion and Power