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Foundation :: Aerodynamics Applications :: SCRAM


An Engineer's Tool for Prediction of Airframe Integrated Scramjet Performance

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SCRAM determines the one-dimensional performance for an airframe integrated supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet). The supersonic combustion ramjet cycle, which uses hydrogen for fuel and atmospheric air for oxidation, is essential for the development of a propulsion system for single-stage-to-orbit aerospace vehicles. These vehicles are intended to be launched horizontally, as opposed to vertical launching for current space vehicles. In addition, they must achieve hypersonic flight to Mach 25 prior to orbital insertion into low Earth orbit. The propulsion system of these vehicles must be reusable, efficient, and cost effective.

The scramjet cycle analysis code performs nose-to-tail, hydrogen fueled, Airframe Integrated Scramjet (AIS) simulation in a real gas flow with equilibrium thermodynamic properties. This allows ready generation of preliminary estimates for SCRAM cycle performance. SCRAM is a reliable, efficient, and speedy design tool that is useable on all standard computers down to IBM PCAT compatible machines.

Developed in the Hypersonic Propulsion Branch at NASA Langley Research Center for the Hypersonic Research Engine and Langley 3-Strut engine programs, the current version of this code has been modified by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility of the Ames Research Center for the purpose of supporting the Langley Strutless Parametric engine and National AeroSpace Plane (NASP) engine test programs.

The current version of SCRAM optimizes the tradeoffs between the needs for computational speed, accuracy, and future modifications. The program utilizes a five station geometry model, with variable step size between each station, to analyze a vehicle noseto-tail mass capture stream tube control-volume with real gas equilibrium flow properties. SCRAM applies the laws of Conservation of Mass, Momentum, and Energy across each step to calculate the changing flow parameters along the control volume. The code incorporates an integral boundary layer code based on the Spaulding-Chi Method to determine the friction coefficient, and then utilizes a modified Reynolds Analogy to calculate heat transfer.

Although the code was primarily written for supersonic flows, it has been modified to handle subsonic flows, along with the ability to handle DualMode combustor operation.
SCRAM carries the NASA case number ARC-12338. It was originally released as part of the NASA COSMIC collection.
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