Infrared signature of NEPE, HTPB rocket plume under varying flight conditions and motor size

Sangmin Kim, Sanghoon Kim, Mintaek Kim, Soonho Song, Joon Sang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, radiation signatures of rocket plumes based on HTPB and NEPE propellants are simulated under varying altitudes, flight Mach numbers, and motor size. The flow field of plume is calculated by computational fluid dynamics, and the infrared signature is predicted using a Ludwig model. To verify the numerical method, experiments were conducted using small rocket motors and radiometric FTIR. The acceptable agreement between numerical calculation and the experiment was obtained in 2–5 μm wavelength region. The total radiance decreases with increasing altitude whether afterburning exists or not. A decreasing rate in the radiance of the plume with strong afterburning is larger than that of the plume with weak afterburning. The change in total intensity according to altitude depends on the afterburning and is directly affected by the radiating area. As the flight Mach number increases, total radiance, total intensity, and radiating area decrease. The motor size makes radiation intensity increase exponentially; exponent value is from 2.6 to 2.7. As the motor size increases, the effect of altitude increases, while the effect of flight Mach number decreases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103590
JournalInfrared Physics and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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