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JAXA Uses TURBOdesign-1 for Rocket Pump Design
Posted Wed January 14, 2009 @11:14AM
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Application In a recent project, JAXA wanted to improve the design of a new generation of its rocket pump for the LE-7 LOX turbopump used in the H-II rocket. The aim of the design was to achieve high energy density for the centrifugal pump (i.e. to achieve the same head and flow rate with a compact size pump under the same rotational speed as the original) in order to reduce the weight and cost of the rocket turbo pump.

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JAXA is an independent administrative institution which results from the merger of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). JAXA is involved in all aspects of aerospace activities, from basic research and development to utilization. With a budget of 183,8 billion Yens and 1649 regular staff members, JAXA focuses on projects such as the International Space Station and Human Space Exploration, Launch Vehicles and Space Transportation Systems, Satellites and Spacecraft and finally Space and Aeronautic Engineering Research.

JAXA experience using conventional design governed by the Stepanoff’s method had shown that further reduction in pump diameter for the same head and speed is difficult to achieve without appreciable reduction in performance. So JAXA decided to use turbodesign-1 in the design of pump stage. Both the impeller and diffuser were redesigned by using TURBOdesign-1. The impeller loading distribution was optimized to reduce exit flow non-uniformity and the diffuser was loading was optimized to increase the static pressure recovery. By using TURBOdeisgn-1 it was possible to reduce the impeller diameter by 5% without any significant reduction in performance.

Dr Yoshiki Yoshida of JAXA says that “TURBOdesign-1 is an intelligent design tool, it gives us fresh insight into the fluid dynamics of the flow through the pump stage. It’s not only a convenient tool to shorten cost and development time, but also a thinking tool to help achieve the best design out of conventional wisdom.”

The full case study is available for download on ADT’s website.

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