Applied Mathematical Modelling
A mixing chamber used in rocket engine testing at the NASA Stennis Space Center is modelled by a system of two nonlinear ordinary differential equations. The mixer is used to condition the thermodynamic properties of cryogenic liquid propellant by controlled injection of the same substance in the gaseous phase. The three inputs of the mixer are the positions of the valves regulating the liquid and gas flows at the inlets, and the position of the exit valve regulating the flow of conditioned propellant. Mixer operation during a test requires the regulation of its internal pressure, exit mass flow, and exit temperature. A mathematical model is developed to facilitate subsequent controller designs. The model must be simple enough to lend itself to subsequent feedback controller design, yet its accuracy must be tested against real data. For this reason, the model includes function calls to thermodynamic property data. Some structural properties of the resulting model that pertain to controller design, such as uniqueness of the equilibrium point, feedback linearizability and local stability are shown to hold under conditions having direct physical interpretation. The existence of fixed valve positions that attain a desired operating condition is also shown. Validation of the model against real data is likewise provided.
Richter, H., Barbieri, E., and Figueroa, F., 2005, "Modelling and Validation of a Propellant Mixer for Controller Design," Applied Mathematical Modelling, 29(2) pp. 195-210.
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Applied Mathematical Modelling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Applied Mathematical Modelling, 29, 2, February 2005, DOI: 10.1016/j.apm.2004.07.012