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  1. #1
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    Default Sounding Rocket Engines



    Hello, all. I have a quick question that I have been curious about for the past couple days: do sounding rocket engines have nozzles? Here are a couple images that could help you folks point out for me which nozzle is closest to the type used for sounding rockets. Thank you very much for taking your time to read my question, and I hope somebody has an answer for me! 3_stage_rocket_complete1.jpgDifferent nozzle configurations.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sounding Rocket Engines

    Sounding rockets use solid fuel motors, which usually have an integrated ceramic nozzle and rear bulkhead. The nozzle is generally cone-shaped, although there are variants on staged assemblies.

    Sounding rockets are fin-stabilized and there is no general requirement for engine steering. The compact, shelf-stable solid motors can therefore use the integrated ceramic bulkhead/nozzle design. This is also a cost reduction, and a means of storing the motor in a canister, with minimum risk of damage to the motor.
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    Default Re: Sounding Rocket Engines

    Thank you for replying, AustinPSD! From the images that I've looked over on the internet, the first stage does not have a nozzle. So, is it safe to assume that the upper stages possess the cone-shaped nozzle that you are referring to? Is it a small, cone-shaped nozzle, such as the third nozzle down on the left in the second picture that I attached to my original post, or is it more like the longer, cone-shape in the first nozzle on the left in that same picture? Once again, thank you, and until next time, have a great day!

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    Default Re: Sounding Rocket Engines

    It might be easier to provide more directed, accurate information if we know what it is you're trying to figure out...

    All rocket motors have nozzles. The specific shape, and design of the nozzle is base on a number of factors. Most small solid motors use an integrated bulkhead/nozzle - the nozzle is cast, or molded into the bulkhead. While you may not see a protruding, or externally visible nozzle, it is still there.

    The specific nozzle shape is related to the type of propellant used, the desired thrust or impulse profile of the engine, whether or not nozzle steering is required, and other factors.

    The cone-shape is most prevalent in solid motors used in sounding rockets (integrated into a ceramic bulkhead), followed by the bell shape (similarly integrated). The plug, or aero-spike design is not typical in a sounding rocket - these are more often found in motors used in weaponry.

    The picture you've attached in your post is highly generalized. It serves only to provide a basic conceptual idea of nozzle shape.

    Sounding rockets range in size and type, stage configuration, etc. based on their intended purpose and required payload capacity. Some use military surplus solid motors, some use reusable motors, some use steerable first stage, fin-stabilized second-stage and n-stage, etc.

    Again, without knowing what problem you're trying to solve, it is difficult to provide better specific information.
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    Default Re: Sounding Rocket Engines

    I'm not really looking at gathering detailed information, just the basic and average shape of the nozzle shape. But, from the knowledge that you have already thrown my way and what I have gleaned from the internet, I do believe I have enough of the info that I have been seeking to be satisfied. Thank you very much for your assistance, Austin, and I wish you a good day!

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    Default Re: Sounding Rocket Engines

    All stages will have a nozzle, whether nozzle is fixed or moving is dependent upon whether it is a simple impulse or more efficient reactionary(convergent nozzle) design. Google convergent/divergent nozzles to see what nozzles and typical stages look like. Also google deLaval nozzle. Same principles we use for steam turbines have been applied to rocket engine design.
    Last edited by DaltonSkyGazer; 12-27-2014 at 01:45 PM.

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