Pressure variations in rocket nozzles. Part 1: Direct asymptotic predictions

Brian A. Maicke, Joseph Majdalani

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We consider the one-dimensional flow equations that relate the expansion area ratio to the unique back pressures that define the operating modes of a nozzle. To eliminate guesswork and numerical root solving in deducing these unique threshold values, we apply asymptotic tools to invert their corresponding thermodynamic relations analytically. Our perturbation approach is based on the square of the reciprocal of the nozzle area expansion ratio, which does not exceed 0.3 in most applications. By extending our series approximation to higher orders, we develop a recursive expression that permits the efficient calculation of the pressure ratios to arbitrary levels of precision. In most cases, a three-term approximation entails an error of less than 1% for a nozzle expansion ratio up to 0.56. Furthermore, the error in these approximations slightly decreases as γ is decreased. All solutions are numerically verified and compared to tabulated values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2010
Event46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2010Jul 28 2010


Other46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNashville, TN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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