UAH grad student invited to lecture at Space-X | News
A UAH graduate student's innovation in suppressing combustion instabilities in rocket engines has attracted the attention of Space-X.
John Bennewitz, a Von Braun Propulsion Scholar at the UAH Propulsion Research Center who is working with advisor Dr. Robert Frederick, will be a visiting lecturer at Space-X’s facility in Hawthorne, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 27, where he will tell employees of the firm that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft about his efforts in applying band-limited white noise to neutralize combustion instabilities, a major hurdle for rocket designers.
“What can happen is, when you have rough combustion with these instabilities excited at certain frequencies, the oscillations can get so large with amplitudes so great that it destroys the engine,” Bennewitz said.
Bennewitz designed a model liquid rocket engine combustor and fabricated it with the help of senior aerospace student Jake Cranford. Cranford, who was responsible for some design changes to the test stand, said getting such experience has been valuable. “As an undergraduate, I’ve been working with John and he’s been very forthcoming with the science,” Cranford said. The experience has piqued his interest in attending graduate school at UAH.
Next up for the pair is testing narrower frequency bands to identify the most effective ranges for instability suppressions.
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