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By Emily Davis and Raechel Tan

Picture from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6448094/

August 6, 2005 Cluster 3: Introduction to Engineering Mechanics Professor Hafez


What is a scramjet? Ramjets History and recent developments Ramjets vs. conventional jets Scramjets vs. ramjets Engine layout of a scramjet Fuel Launching and landing Advantages and disadvantages

What is a scramjet?

Stands for Supersonic Combustion Ramjet Travels at hypersonic speeds (above Mach 5) Has an air-breathing engine, meaning that it takes oxygen from the air instead of carrying oxygen in a tank.



A scramjet is a variation of a ramjet. Ramjets remove most moving parts of an engine by traveling at very high speeds to eliminate the need for fans to compress the air. At subsonic speeds ramjets and scramjets tend not to produce much thrust, nor are they very fuel-efficient.



Research into practical supersonic flight started during WWII 1950s: U.S. Air Force, Navy, and NASA began to develop scramjet engines 1986: NASA's National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program established to develop a vehicle with speed greater than Mach 15, the ability to take off horizontally, and the ability to land


Scramjet Programs


Nov. 17, 1992: Russian scientists launched a scramjet in Kazakhstan (in a wind tunnel) 1994 1998: NASA and Russian Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) did 4 tests and reached Mach numbers of 5.5, 5.35, 5.8, and 6.5 (in a simulated environment). Jul. 30, 2002: University of Queenslands HyShot team successfully tested a scramjet Replaced NASP program in 1994 Mar. 27, 2004: Successfully launched the X-43A Nov. 16, 2004: 3rd X-43 flight set new speed record of 6,600 mph (almost Mach 10)


NASAs Hyper-X Program


Recent Developments

HyShot Project in 2002 was the first successful test of a scramjet in the atmosphere U.S. Air Force and Pratt & Whitney have collaborated on the Hypersonic Technology (HyTECH) scramjet engine NASA's Marshall Space Propulsion Center has created an Integrated Systems Test of an Air-Breathing Rocket (ISTAR) program. Pratt & Whitney, Aerojet, and Rocketdyne are collaborating on the development.


CIAMs IGLA hypersonic flying laboratory


Second launch of HyShot, on Jul. 30, 2002


CGI image of X-43 separating from booster


Ramjets vs. Conventional Jets

Conventional jets need compressors to compress the air they take in. Ramjets use extremely high velocities to compress the air. Ramjets slow down the air before combustion, which results in a rise in pressure. (PV=nRT)
http://www.aip.org/tip/INPHFA/vol10/iss-4/p24.html Picture from http://www.aip.org/tip/INPHFA/vol10/iss-4/p24.html

Picture from http://www.globalsecurity .org/space/systems/x43.htm

Scramjets vs. Ramjets

Both ramjets and scramjets travel hypersonically. Ramjets slow down the intake air to subsonic speeds to boost the pressure, and then combusts it. Scramjets slow down the air, but not to subsonic speeds. Combustion takes place while the air is still moving hypersonically.




Pictures from http://www.aviation-history.com/engines/ramjet.htm

Shock Waves

The incoming air slows down when it piles up against the other air. This results in an increase in pressure. The sudden increase in pressure causes a shock wave.


Engine Layout

The engine is located on the bottom of the scramjet body. 5 main engine components: internal inlet isolator combustor internal nozzle fuel supply subsystem 2 main vehicle components forebody http://www.aip.org/tip/INPHFA/vol-10/iss-4/p24.html aftbody

Picture from http://www.aip.org/tip/INPHFA/vol-10/iss-4/p24.html


Most scramjets run on hydrogen fuel. When the hydrogen burns in oxygen, the only byproduct is water.

2 H2 + O2 2 H2O The hydrogen fuel is used as a coolant prior to being combusted, since it can absorb so much heat. The absorption of heat also acts to preheat the fuel before combustion.

Some scramjets burn hydrocarbons. (e.g. HyTECH)

Hydrocarbon fuel does not have as much energy as hydrogen fuel. But hydrocarbons are easier to handle than hydrogen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramjet http://www.afrlhorizons.com/Briefs/Dec01/PR0102.html


Scramjets cannot function at speeds below Mach 5. This means that they cannot take off on their own. Currently, scramjets are launched from a large airplane (such as a B-52), with a rocket connected to it. The rocket accelerates the scramjet until it is fast enough to fly on its own. As of yet, scramjets do not have any real landing capabilities. Tests of scramjets have them splash down in the ocean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramjet http://www.popsci.com/popsci/lgimg/0,21039,765284,00.html

Picture by Garry Marshall, from http://www.popsci.com/popsci/lgimg/0,21039,765284,00.html


Does not have to carry oxygen No rotating parts = easy to manufacture Has a higher specific impulse (change in momentum per unit of propellant) than a conventional engine; could provide between 1000 and 4000 seconds, while a rocket only provides 600 seconds or less Higher speed could mean cheaper access to outer space in the future


Gets very hot Heat due to shock waves High aerodynamic loads High, fluctuating pressure Erosion from airflow over the vehicle and through the engine Cannot launch on its own Cannot land on land Vehicle may not be reusable If made to carry passengers, sonic http://www.aip.org/tip/INPHFA/vol-10/iss-4/p24.html booms and high g-levels would be a


A scramjet is a hypersonic jet that has an air-breathing engine. There are very few moving parts in the engine. Most scramjets run on hydrogen fuel. They must get to hypersonic speeds with a rocket, and can only splash down in the ocean. Scramjets are still in testing mode -not yet suitable for commercial use.

Thank you to Mike Paskowitz, our teacher fellow, for helping us with this presentation! Also thank you to Professor Hafez, our T.A. Beth Kuspa, and our R.A. Tim McGuire.