For many decades, the U.S. rocket propulsion industrial base has performed remarkably in developing complex liquid rocket engines that can propel critical payloads into service for the nation, as well as transport people and hardware for missions that open the frontiers of space exploration for humanity. This has been possible only at considerable expense given the lack of detailed guidance that captures the essence of successful practices and knowledge accumulated over five decades of liquid rocket engine development. In an effort to provide benchmarks and guidance for the next generation of rocket engineers, the Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF) Interagency Propulsion Committee published a liquid rocket engine (LRE) test and evaluation (T&E) guideline document in 2012 focusing on the development challenges and test verification considerations for liquid rocket engine systems. This document has been well received and applied by many current LRE developers as a benchmark and guidance tool, both for government-driven applications as well as for fully commercial ventures. The USAF Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has taken an additional near-term step and is directing activity to adapt and augment the content from the JANNAF LRE T&E guideline into a standard for potential application to future USAF requests for proposals for LRE development initiatives and launch vehicles for national security missions. A draft of this standard was already sent out for review and comment, and is intended to be formally approved and released towards the end of 2017. The acceptance and use of the LRE T&E guideline is possible through broad government and industry participation in the JANNAF liquid propulsion committee and associated panels. The sponsoring JANNAF community is expanding upon this initial baseline version and delving into further critical development aspects of liquid rocket propulsion testing at the integrated stage level as well as engine component level, in order to advance the state of the practice. The full participation of the entire U.S. rocket propulsion industrial base is invited and expected at this opportune moment in the continuing advancement of spaceflight technology.
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
2017 AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference; 10-12 Jul. 2017; Atlanta, GA; United States