Oliver Jia-Richards

Oliver  Jia-Richards
MIT AeroAstro Boeing Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Zolti Spakovszky
Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Areas of Research: Aerospace
Years: 2016-2017

A Feasibility Study of a New Unsteady Flow Measurement Technique for the Characterisation of Cavitation Dynamics in Rocket Engine Turbopump Inducers

Cavitation instabilities can dramatically limit the performance and life of rocket engine turbopump inducers and can lead to complex vibration dynamics and limit the stable operating range. Furthermore instability due to the interaction of the rocket vehicle structure with the propulsion system can lead to dramatic self-excited longitudinal vibrations nicknamed "POGO". To assess POGO instability in liquid fueled rockets characterization of the inducer dynamic behavior is pivotal. A new approach to forced response testing is proposed using a distributed array of close-coupled actuators and arrays of pressure and velocity sensors to allow a more direct way of identifying the system eigenvalues and related cavitation modeshapes while improving signal-to-noise ratio.

I am a rising junior in the Aero/Astro program. I am participating in the SuperUROP program because I am interested in using my academic knowledge from classwork for an in depth research project. I hope to use this project to learn about a subject area I am interested in pursing a career in (propulsion systems) as well as gain experience carrying out a research project.