In the first of dev blogs, we introduce Tom, a University of Sydney Student just completing a Master of Professional Engineering.
At Space Ops he supports work relating to rocket engine design, optimisation and verification with computational fluid dynamics or CFD.
Design exploration is easier these days with computers and CFD. Some of his earlier work involved exploring the injector of a rocket engine. The mixing of the fuel and oxidant into a combustion chamber. How these two fluids get delivered and subsequently mix affects the combustion efficiency of your rocket engine.
When doing a design, its important to also consider how it will be manufactured. Will it be machined the traditional way with lathes and mills, or will it be 3D printed with the new metal 3D printers.
As an example, the picture above it would be very difficult to manufacture this design with traditional methods however 3D printing can achieve this design with ease.
Currently, Tom is exploring aerofoil shapes for consideration of new innovative rocket body designs. Ultimately, supporting the development of more structurally efficient air frames without compromising aerodynamic performance and capacity. CFD is used to understand drag coefficients at varying velocities.