When px = p2, then Ax/At = A2/A, = e in Eq. 3-25. For low-altitude operation (sea level to about 10,000 m) the nozzle area ratios are typically between 3 and 25, depending on chamber pressure, propellant combinations, and vehicle envelope constraints. For high altitude (100 km or higher) area ratios are typically between 40 and 200, but there have been some as high as 400. Similarly, an expression for the ratio of the velocity at any point downstream of the throat with the pressure px, and the throat velocity may be written from Eqs. 3-15 and 3-23:
These equations permit the direct determination of the velocity ratio or the area ratio for any given pressure ratio, and vice versa, in ideal rocket nozzles. They are plotted in Figs. 3-4 and 3-5, and these plots allow the determination of the pressure ratios given the area or velocity ratios. When px = p2, Eq. 3-26 describes the velocity ratio between the nozzle exit area and the throat section. When the exit pressure coincides with the atmospheric pressure (p2 = p3, see Fig. 2-1), these equations apply for optimum nozzle expansion. For rockets that operate at high altitudes, not too much additional exhaust velocity can be gained by increasing the area ratio above 1000. In addition, design difficulties and a heavy inert nozzle mass make applications above area ratios of about 350 marginal.
Appendix 2 is a table of several properties of the Earth's atmosphere with agreed-upon standard values. It gives ambient pressure for different altitudes. These properties can vary somewhat from day to day (primarily because of solar activity) and between hemispheres. For example, the density of the atmosphere at altitudes between 200 and 3000 km can change by more than an order of magnitude, affecting satellite drag.
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.