Rocket Propulsion Analysis
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RPA redesigned web site is available

February 06, 2017

We're happy to announce that we have completely redesigned our website! Now you can enjoy a better design and user-friendly navigation.

Note that previous website will be available for a while at the following address:

RPA Overview

Rocket Propulsion Analysis (RPA) is a multi-platform analysis tool intended for use in conceptual and preliminary design (design phases 0/A/B1).

For many years rocket propulsion professionals, scientists and students were using command-line MS-DOS or UNIX programs to calculate the performance of the rocket engines. While the accuracy of the old programs is still sufficient for many cases, the old-fashioned interface has poor usability, whereas the lack or absence of active development makes it difficult to satisfy new user requirements.

With release of the RPA, offers the modern rocket engines analysis tool and promises continuous further development of the program.

RPA is an easy-to-use multi-platform tool for the performance prediction of rocket engines. It features an intuitive graphical user interface with convenient grouping the input parameters and analysis results.

RPA utilizes an expandable chemical species library based on NASA Glenn thermodynamic database and Gurvich thermodynamic database, that includes data for numerous fuels and oxidizers, such as liquid hydrogen and oxygen, kerosene, hydrogen peroxide, MMH, and many others. With embedded species editor, the users may also easily define new propellant components, or import components from PROPEP or CEA2 species databases.

By providing a few engine parameters such as combustion chamber pressure, used propellant components, and nozzle parameters, the program obtains chemical equilibrium composition of combustion products, determines its thermodynamic properties, and predicts the theoretical rocket performance. The results of calculation can also be used to design combustion chambers, gas generators and preburners of the liquid propellant rocket engines.

RPA is written in C++ programming language using following third-party libraries: Qt, Qwt, libconfig++, Eigen.

Main Features

  • Robust, proven and industry-accepted Gibbs free energy minimization approach is used to obtain the combustion composition
  • Analysis of nozzle performance with shifting and frozen chemical equilibrium
  • Calculation of thermal transport properties
  • Optimisation of propellant components mixture ratio for maximum specific impulse of bipropellant systems
  • Altitude performance analysis
  • Analysis of over-expanded nozzle performance
  • Throttled engine performance analysis
  • Estimation of delivered (actual) nozzle performance
  • Nested analysis, stepping of up to four independent variables (component ratio, chamber pressure, nozzle inlet conditions, nozzle exit conditions)
  • Propellant analysis tool to evaluate different propellant compositions
  • Determination of combustion chamber size for given thrust, propellant mass flow rate, or throat diameter
  • Designing parabolic nozzle contour or truncated ideal nozzle contour (TIC) using two-dimensional (axisymmetric) method of characteristics, with capability to export the resulting contour to DXF file
  • Thrust chamber thermal analysis
  • Calculation of heat transfer rate distribution (convection and radiation) with or without boundary layer coolant
  • Film cooling analysis
  • Radiation cooling analysis
  • Regenerative cooling analysis:
    • coaxial shell jacket
    • tubular wall jacket
    • jacket with milled channels
  • Thermal analysis of thrust chambers with combined cooling (radiation + film + regenerative)
  • Estimation of hydraulic losses in the cooling passages
  • Estimation of friction thrust loss
  • Estimation of divergence thrust loss for nozzle with truncated ideal nozzle contour (TIC)
  • Engine cycle analysis:
    • Staged Combustion cycle (SG)
    • Full Flow Staged Combustion cycle (FFSG)
    • Gas Generator cycle (GG)
  • Estimation of engine performance for Gas Generator cycle.
  • Estimation of engine dry weigth.
  • Parameters input and results output in SI or U.S. customary units
  • Multi-platform graphical user interface for Microsoft® Windows™ (both x86 and x86-64), as well as for Apple® Mac OS X and Linux

Click here for a complete list of features.

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Last modified: October 21, 2019