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A.5.2.3 Nose Cone A.5.2.3.

1 Overview The final nose cone design revolves around a power-law body, with a blunted tip in order to reduce the effects of heating throughout ascent. During original rocket design, drag losses provided a severe limitation to the capabilities and mission parameters. Power-law bodies are the optimum shape for minimum drag when it comes to the leading edge of a body of revolution.1 A power-law body is a body of revolution whose revolving surface is governed by !. "1# below.

where$ x is the position measured along a%is of symmetry, L is the total a%ial length of the power-law body, R is the radius of the body at the end-point, m is a pre-determined power-law body coefficient, and r is the radius of power-law body at a%ial position x

To start with, we chose a power-law coefficient " m & '.(# that corresponded with the lowest drag achieved during Auman and )ilks* e%periments.1 +urther design steps re!uired defining the length of the nose cone as well as thermal and structural analyses. The initial length of the nose cone was set to 1., times the radius of the base. -sing this as a starting point, we attempted to reach a balance between elongating the nose cone to reduce drag and shortening the length in order to reduce the nose cone heating. .ince the nose cone will be sub/ected to a high heating rate due to the velocity through the atmosphere, we decided that further elongating the nose cone would increase overall cost due to the heightened thermal re!uirements. As !. "1# shows when x approaches 0ero, which is defined as the tip of the nose cone, the radius also approaches 0ero, resulting in an increasingly sharp tip. +igure 1 shows the general, two-dimensional outline of a power-law body using m & '.(.

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Figure 1 : Outline of Power-law Body

+igure 1 shows that the tip of the initial design reaches a relatively sharp tip. 3nitial thermal analysis showed that this would be unacceptable, leading to a change in the shape near the tip. +inal nose cone design calls for a solid-blunted tip set appro%imated 145 of the way back from the tip of the nose cone. +igure 6 shows the 7AT3A model of the final nose cone.

Figure 2 : Final Nose Cone Design

.electing materials capable of handling the thermal loading was the final step in the design of the nose cone. .ince titanium has such a high melting temperature, especially in relation to other metallic alloys currently available, it was the necessary choice for the upper half of the powerlaw body and blunted tip of the cone, which will be sub/ected to the greatest thermal loading.

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.ince we can assume that the thermal loading lessens as we move further from the tip "as discussed in A.,.6.5.5#, it is possible to use aluminum for the lower third of the nose cone. +inal considerations for the nose cone involved necessary internal structures to support both the static and e%pected dynamic loading during flight. )hile the nose cone is located at the stagnation point during nominal flight, calculated pressure loadings are low enough to negate the use of e%cessive internal supports. +our internal aluminum stringers are placed symmetrically around the nose cone in order to support the weight of the blunted titanium tip and are capable of withstanding the e%pected dynamic loads within the reserve factor of 1.6,.

+urther work into the design of the nose cone should focus on the use of ablatives and current software available for the thermal analysis of bodies sub/ected to the e%pected thermal loads. 8ost contemporary space launches employ ablative shells over leading surfaces like the nose cone in order to reduce the necessity of using e%pensive, difficult materials such as titanium. +urther research into the use of ablatives may open up alternatives for the materials used throughout the nose cone. -nfortunately, we were advised that detailed analysis using .andia 9ne-Dimensional Direct and 3nverse Thermal ".9DD3T# would be outside the scope and deadlines of this design phase, which left us limited to metallic alloys.

A. Thermal Analysis Thermal analysis for the nose cone during ascent proved the limiting factor throughout the design phase. An initial analysis of the power-law body as originally defined immediately proved that the heating rate at the tip of the nose would approach infinity, implying infinite heat transfer to the nose cone throughout flight. As an infinite heating rate was clearly unacceptable, the first step re!uired blunting the tip of the nose cone in order to bring the radius of curvature up. The heating rate of a leading body is dependent upon both the physical shape of the ob/ect as well as the material properties. :eating rate is primarily dependent upon the radius of curvature of the test body at a specific point as well as the specific heat of the material used. The heating rate of a leading edge body can be theoretically determined using !. "5# below.

where q is the heating rate per unit area, is the density of the fluid, rn is the radius of curvature of test body, V is the instantaneous velocity, cpw is the specific heat of surface material, and Tw is the instantaneous temperature at surface.

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)e can see from !. "5# that the heating rate is dependent upon tra/ectory, material and structural parameters. .ince our design process did not entail changing the optimal tra/ectory and therefore the velocity at any point in the launch, we were forced to focus on changes to both the material and structural properties. 3deal design for meeting the thermal re!uirements would entail increasing the radius of curvature throughout the nose cone, especially at the stagnation point, as well as employing a material with a higher specific heat. ! "5# clearly shows that as the radius of curvature at a point decreases, it increases the instantaneous heat transfer, which accumulates throughout the flight. ;ualitative analysis alone was able to prove that the original power-law body was unsuited to withstanding high velocity flight, which re!uired using a simplified thermal analysis model with a blunted tip.

The initial heating rate e!uation re!uires a complicated iterative process as well as converting the given heating rate from !. "5# to a heating rate per volume and then an overall temperature. 3nitial steps to determine this heating rate re!uired a calculation of both the local atmospheric enthalpy as well as the velocity contribution. The local, atmospheric enthalpy is calculated using !. "<# below$

where ha is the local, atmospheric enthalpy, Cp is the specific heat of air, defined as 1''5., k24kg= and T is the temperature at the desired altitude calculated using .tandard Atmosphere tables. The velocity contribution is the '.,V6 term, which contributes more to the conditions on the surface of the nose cone due to our high velocity through high altitude4low-density atmosphere. +igure 5 shows the plot of the individual enthalpy terms as well as they*re combined value. This allows us to determine the local conditions that will have an effect on the heating rate of the nose cone. +igure 5 shows that since we are launching from a balloon at appro%imately 5'km, the local atmospheric enthalpy contributes very little to the overall enthalpy. As e%pected with a s!uared term, the velocity contribution increases slowly at first and then rapidly as the velocity continues to increase throughout ascent. )hile the velocity continues to increase until we reach the desired velocity for our orbit, we only plotted our data through >, km above arth. At this altitude the density of the air would be low enough that the air no longer operates under normal heating laws, providing an upper limit for our calculations.

)hile the current research provided important insight into the factors that affect the heating of the nose cone throughout ascent, we were ultimately unable to both iterate and integrate the given function to provide an actual temperature vs. time curve for ascent using various metallic alloys. 7ombining research from Prof. .chneider6 and the tested components of the 1anguard rocket5, we decided to alter the tip of the nose cone for a more favorable thermal survivability.

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Prof. .chneider simplifies the heating rate calculation by assuming a blunt nosetip that serves as a massive heatsink. 7ombining this with the 1anguard nose cone design, which used a solid titanium tip, we arrived at the current design, which takes the original power-law body and replaces the sharp tip with a solid blunt tip as shown earlier in +igure 6.

A. Structural Analysis 9nce the nose was capable of handling the thermal loading e%pected during ascent, we began to analy0e the structural properties of the nose cone and how well it would survive the physical loading due to ascent. 9f primary concern in this analysis was the stagnation pressure on the blunt nose during ascent. .imilar to the method used to determine the total enthalpy during the ascent, local atmospheric pressure was calculated as a function of time during the ascent using the .tandard Atmospheric Tables while dynamic pressure was calculated using the absolute velocity data provided by the Tra/ectory group. .tagnation pressure was therefore calculated using !. ",# below$

)here Ps is the desired stagnation pressure, Pa is the local atmospheric pressure from the .tandard Atmosphere tables, is the density of air at the current altitude and V is the absolute velocity of the launch vehicle.

.imilar to the data gathered for enthalpy during ascent, the local atmospheric pressure contribution is significantly smaller than that of the dynamic pressure, due mostly to the high altitude launch. +igure , plots the stagnation pressure versus time for the launch vehicle during ascent for the ,kg payload. As e%pected, the local atmospheric pressure drops off !uickly as the launch vehicle accelerates through the atmosphere. :owever, the dynamic pressure curve initially starts at 0ero and increases !uickly as a result of the rapidly accelerating launch vehicle. .ince the velocity term is s!uared, we e%pect the dynamic pressure to increase rapidly and provide more of a contribution to the stagnation pressure, before dropping off as a result of the low-density atmosphere. 7ombining both values into a ma%imum stagnation pressure allowed us to determine the ma%imum a%ial loading for the nose cone. )e initially assumed that the solid titanium tip would be structurally capable of supporting the stagnation pressure, which led to determining the need for a%ial strengthening throughout the rest of the nose cone. 3n order to determine the compressive loading e%perienced by any stringers placed in the nose cone, we added the ma%imum e%pected stagnation pressure to the mass of the solid titanium tip, at which point our factor of safety was taken into account. 3nitial tests

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assigned the stringers to be made from aluminum in an effort to both save money and mass. 3n order to write a code that determined the necessary number of stringers to withstand the a%ial loading, we had to arbitrarily set the stringer area. +or this we chose to use stringers 5mm wide by 1'mm deep, similar to those used throughout the interstage skirts of the launch vehicle. -sing !. "># below, we were able to calculate the re!uired number of stringers to support both the structural mass of the titanium tip as well as the stagnation pressure during ascent, assuming that the titanium4aluminum wall does not carry any a%ial loading.

-sing the ,kg payload as our test case, we found that the nose cone only re!uired 1.6' stringers to support the re!uired forces. .ince we clearly cannot have a fraction of a stringer, we decided to include four stringers in the nose cone, spaced evenly around the circumference in order to support the necessary loading and provide a reasonable factor of safety.

9nce the nose cone was capable of withstanding the e%pected thermal and structural loading, we were able to finally calculate the re!uired mass for the nose cone for each launch vehicle. Table 1 contains the mass of each nose cone.
Table 1: Nose Cone Masses

Laun ! "e!i le 6''g 1kg ,kg

Mass of Nose Cone #$g% 1.(,'( 6.'<5, 1.(?6(

Author: 1incent 2. Tei%eira