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  • A Feedback Controlled Gas Mixing System for the Ram Accelerator

    Paper ID



    • M.R. Jardin


    NASA Ales Division






    The ram accelerator is a device used for accelerating objects to hypersonic velocities by use of a chemical propulsion cycle very similar to that of a conventional ramjet x. In the ram accelerator, however, the projectile takes the shape of the centerbody of a ramjet and travels freely through a tube filled with a mixture of combustible gases. The shock structure developed by the projectile as it moves through the gases initiates combustion behind the projectile, causing acceleration (Fig. 1). Recent studies 2 suggest that even slight changes in gas composition can have significant effects upon ram accelerator performance so that obtaining accurate gas mixtures is very important. In addition to high accuracy, the system used to fill the ram tubes prior to a projectile launch must be quick and efficient to operate if the ram accelerator is to become a viable hypersonics test-bed or orbital launch facility in the future.