Comparative Study on Infrared Irradiance Emitted from Standard and Real Rocket Motor Plumes

Min Taek Kim, Soonho Song, Yoo Jin Yim, Myung Wook Jang, Gookhyun Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The infrared irradiance signature from exhaust plume is essential for the design of solid rocket motors. To overcome the difficulty of conducting experiments using real rocket motors, experimental studies were carried out to compare standard rocket motors and real rocket motors of the same propellant. The static firing tests on standard and real rocket motors of NEPE and HTPB propellants were conducted. Despite different rocket motor size and methodology of spectro-radiometric measurement, the spectral characteristics of the infrared irradiance signature for both rocket motors were quite similar. The standard and real rocket motors of HTPB propellant showed similar tendency of steady infrared irradiance emission throughout the combustion, whereas both rocket motors of NEPE propellant showed a rapid emission in the midstream of combustion. The total infrared irradiance of NEPE was about 55% less than that of HTPB propellant for both standard and real rocket motor experiments. Additionally, the relative amounts of chemical products produced during propellant combustion came out to be similar for both rocket motors. The experimental results indicated that the spectral characteristics of infrared irradiance and combustion products were quite similar for different sized rocket motors of same propellant and that a correlation of infrared irradiance signature exists between small-sized standard rocket motors and real rocket motors. Thus, the spectral characteristics of real rocket motors could be reasonably estimated from the results of standard rocket motors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-785
Number of pages7
JournalPropellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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