Fuel Flow, Heat Fluctuations Drive Dangerous Oscillations in Rocket Engines

Combustion engines can develop high frequency oscillations, leading to structural damage to and unsafe operating conditions. In Physics of Fluids, research clarifies the feedback processes that give rise to these oscillations. The investigators studied simulated combustion events in a computational model of a rocket combustor and their analysis involved sophisticated techniques, including symbolic dynamics and the use of complex networks to understand the transition into oscillatory behavior.