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# MAE 4262: ROCKETS AND MISSION ANALYSIS

## Single and Multi-Stage Rockets

September 6, 2012
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
Florida Institute of Technology
D. R. Kirk
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SINGLE-STAGE SOUNDING ROCKET SUMMARY
Want to reduce burn time as much as possible while accelerating against a gravity field
Short burn time reduces energy consumed in lifting propellants
Very short burn time implies very high accelerations
Structural limitations
High mass flows, lots of weight for nozzles, turbo-machinery, cooling, etc.
Drag goes as V
2
Is there an optimum acceleration for a given rocket configuration?
In limit of no drag and no gravity, burn time has no influence on velocity increment
( )
( )
|
.
|

\
|

|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
1 ln
1 2
ln
2
1
1
ln
1
1 1 ln
2
2
max
2
R
R
R
t u
g
R u
h
gt
R
R
t u t u h
gt
t
t
R
u t V
b e
e
b b e b e b
b
e
Velocity during
Powered flight
Height at burnout
Maximum altitude
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PRELIMINARY DEFINITIONS
Total mass of rocket, M
o
, may be written as sum of 3 primary components:
L
Propellant mass, M
P
Structural mass, M
S
Includes everything but payload and propellant
Engines, tanks, controls, etc.
If rocket consumes all its propellant during firing, burnout mass consists of
NOTE: Other texts and references will breakdown rocket components in various
ways and into many more parts (i.e., Sutton, Kerrebrock, Turner, Humble)
S P L o
M M M M + + =
S L b
M M M + =
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DEFINITIONS
Symbol Ratio Description
R
S L
o
b
o
M M
M
M
M
R
+
= =
Mass Ratio: initial mass / mass at the
end of the thrust period. Want this
ratio large.

S P
L
L o
L
M M
M
M M
M
+
=

=
everything but payload . Want this
large, but larger the payload , the
lower maximum attainable velocity.
c
L o
L b
S P
S
M M
M M
M M
M

=
+
= c
Structural Coefficient : ratio of the
structural weight to ever ything but
,
L o
P
S P
P
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
= ,
Propellant Ratio: Ratio of propellant

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PRELIMINARY DEFINITIONS
Using previous definitions, we can write mass ratio as:
Also note that propellant ratio and structural coefficient are related by:
c

+
+
=
1
R
c , =1
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PICTURES OF DEFINITIONS
Propellant
Structure
Rocket Initial
Propellant is Full
S P L o
M M M M + + =
M
o
= + +
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PICTURES OF DEFINITIONS
Propellant
Structure
Rocket Final
Propellant is Empty
Mass at Burnout
S L b
M M M + =
M
b
= +
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MASS RATIO DEFINITION
Propellant
Structure
S L
o
b
o
M M
M
M
M
R
+
~ =
R=
+ +
+
R
o
c
k
e
t

I
n
i
t
i
a
l
R
o
c
k
e
t

F
i
n
a
l
8
Propellant
Structure
=
+
S P
L
L o
L
M M
M
M M
M
+
=

=
9
STRUCTURAL COEFFICIENT DEFINITION
Propellant
Structure
c =
+
L o
L b
S P
S
M M
M M
M M
M

~
+
= c
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PROPELLANT FRACTION DEFINITION
Propellant
Structure
, =
+
L o
P
S P
P
M M
M
M M
M

~
+
= ,
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SUMMARY: SINGLE-STAGE ROCKETS
Propellant
Structure
L o
P
S P
P
M M
M
M M
M

~
+
= ,
, =
+
L o
L b
S P
S
M M
M M
M M
M

~
+
= c
c =
+
S P
L
L o
L
M M
M
M M
M
+
=

=
=
+
S L
o
b
o
M M
M
M
M
R
+
~ =
R =
+
+
+
c

+
+
=
1
R
c , =1
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MULTISTAGE ROCKETS
Main idea is to discard empty tanks and extra structure as rocket travels, so that
this mass is not subjected to gravity losses
Large engines used for initial high thrust phase, may produce excessive
accelerations when propellant is nearly consumed
Multistage rocket is a series of individual vehicles or stages, each with its own
structure, tanks and engines
Each stage accelerates payload before being detached
Two points:
1. Stages are ordered in number of firing
2. Analysis of multistage rockets is similar to that for single stage
Payload for an particular stage is the mass of all subsequent stages
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MULTISTAGE ROCKET EXAMPLE
1
M
L
3
2
Total Mass 1: M
o1
=M
P1
+M
S1
+M
o2
Total Mass 2: M
o2
=M
P2
+M
S2
+M
o3
Total Mass 3: M
o3
=M
P3
+M
S3
+M
L
Total Mass i: M
oi
=M
Pi
+M
Si
+M
o(i+1)
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MULTISTAGE ROCKET EXAMPLE
1
M
L
3
2
Total Mass 1: M
o1
=M
P1
+M
S1
+M
o2
L1
=M
o2
Total Mass 2: M
o2
=M
P2
+M
S2
+M
o3
L2
=M
o3
Total Mass 3: M
o3
=M
P3
+M
S3
+M
L
L3
=M
L
Total Mass i: M
oi
=M
Pi
+M
Si
+M
o(i+1)
Li
=M
o(i+1)
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1
M
L
2 1
2
) 1 (
) 1 (
o o
o
i o oi
i o
L o
L
i
M M
M
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
+

1
16
M
L
3 2
3
) 1 (
) 1 (
o o
o
i o oi
i o
L o
L
i
M M
M
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
+

2
2
17
M
L
L o
L
i o oi
i o
L o
L
i
M M
M
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
+
3 ) 1 (
) 1 (

## The payload ratio for stage 3 is:

3
3
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STRUCTURAL COEFFICIENT: MULTISTAGE ROCKETS
1
M
L
The structural coefficient for stage 1 is:
1
2 1
1
) 1 ( o o
S
i o oi
Si
S P
S
i
M M
M
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
=
+
c
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STRUCTURAL COEFFICIENT: MULTISTAGE ROCKETS
M
L
The structural coefficient for stage 2 is:
2
3 2
2
) 1 ( o o
S
i o oi
Si
S P
S
i
M M
M
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
=
+
c
2
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STRUCTURAL COEFFICIENT: MULTISTAGE ROCKETS
M
L
The structural coefficient for stage 3 is:
3
L o
S
i o oi
Si
S P
S
i
M M
M
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
=
+ 3
3
) 1 (
c
3
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SUMMARY: MULTISTAGE ROCKETS
) 1 (
) 1 (
+
+

=
i o oi
i o
i
M M
M

) 1 ( +

=
i o oi
si
i
M M
M
c
) 1 (
) 1 (
+
+

=
i o oi
i o bi
i
M M
M M
c
bi
oi
i
M
M
R =
i i
i
i
R
c

+
+
=
1
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SOME EXAMPLES: SATURN V
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PROTON (SOVIET)
First Launch: July 1965
Flight Rate: 13 per year
Capability: 44,100 lb to LEO; 12,100 lb to GTO; 4,850 lb to GEO
Originally intended as a ballistic missile but converted to a space launch
vehicle during development
Two, three, and four-stage versions were developed
Used to launch satellites into GEO, interplanetary spacecraft, and manned
space stations such as Salyut and Mir
Three or four-stage liquid-fueled vehicle
Stage 1 has six strap-on boosters with RD-253 engines burning N
2
O
4

fed from the core stage 1 tank with UDMH fuel carried in the strap-on
tanks, generating a total of 1,986,000 lb of thrust
Stage 2 has four RD-0210 sustainer engines burning N
2
O
4
/UDMH
fed from stage 2 tank, generating a total of 540,000 lb of thrust
Stage 3 has one RD-473 engine with four verniers burning
N
2
O
4
/UDMH, generating a total thrust of 142,000 lb
Stage 4 has one RD-58 burning LO2/kerosene, generating a total
thrust of 19,100 lb
Length: 197 ft
Launch Weight: 1,550,000 lb
Diameter 22.6 ft
Liftoff Thrust: 1,986,000 lb
Payload Fairing: 24.6 ft x 12 ft
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