Study of Intra-Chamber Processes in Solid Rocket Motors by Fiber Optic Sensors

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Nov 25;21(23):7836. doi: 10.3390/s21237836.


In this study, an experimental study of the burning rate of solid fuel in a model solid propellant rocket motor (SRM) E-5-0 was conducted using a non-invasive control method with fiber-optic sensors (FOSs). Three sensors based on the Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI), fixed on the SRM E-5-0, recorded the vibration signal during the entire cycle of solid fuel burning. The results showed that, when using MZI sensors, the non-invasive control of solid fuel burnout is made possible both by recording the time of arrival of the combustion front to the sensor and by analyzing the peaks on the spectrogram of the recorded FOS signal. The main mode of acoustic vibrations of the chamber of the model SRM is longitudinal, and it changes with time, depending on the chamber length. Longitudinal modes of the combustion chamber were detected by MZI only after the combustion front passed its fixing point, and the microphone was unable to register them at all. The results showed that the combustion rate was practically constant after the first second, which was confirmed by the graph of the pressure versus time at the nozzle exit.

Keywords: Mach–Zehnder interferometer; fiber optic sensor; solid fuel; solid rocket motors.

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